Department of Astronomy Center for Radiophysics & Space Research

John (Jack) Madden

Professor Lisa Kaltenegger
John (Jack) Madden

Jack Madden graduated in 2010 from Franklin and Marshall College with a BA in Astrophysics. While at F&M he worked with Dr. Fronefield Crawford on an extragalactic pulsar survey and also on pulsar identification algorithms. He is now a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University working with Dr. Lisa Kaltenegger.

His current work includes modeling the atmospheres of known exoplanets with varying cloud coverage and cloud composition. Making these changes alters the surface temperature of the planet as well as its albedo. The goal is to provide a detailed exploration of the cloud parameter space for each candidate to get a picture of how clouds effect their habitability. There are two models used to achieve this. A 1D climate model is used to figure out properties such as temperature and composition throughout the atmosphere. A second model determines how the molecules in the atmosphere change over time as they interact with each other and are exposed to sunlight. These two models are able to communicate to each other to find the most stable atmospheric conditions given a set of initial conditions.

Primary research interests: Exoplanet atmosphere characterization and modeling, habitability, biosignatures and their detection, origins of life

Other interests: Relativity, cosmology, physics/astronomy higher education, educational psychology, science outreach

See website for up to date resume and publications