The MIT Kavli Institute paves the way for new developments in space- & ground-based astrophysics. Our faculty, research staff, and students develop technology & instrumentation with a focus on an engineering and technical core.
Researchers at The Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research explore extreme and unusual phenomena found beyond the Earth including extrasolar planets, black holes, neutron stars, and distant galaxies and clusters of galaxies.
William A. M. Burden Professor of Astrophysics, EmeritusFaculty
Paul Schechter received his undergraduate degree from Cornell in 1968 and his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1975. Before coming to MIT in 1988, he held postdoctoral positions at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Arizona, a faculty position at Harvard, and staff positions at Kitt Peak National Observatory and the Carnegie Observatories.
Professor Schechter is an observational astronomer who studies galaxies and clusters of galaxies and the distribution of dark matter therein. For the last several years, he has been carrying out ground-based optical and Hubble Space Telescope observations of the mirages produced by extragalactic gravitational potentials. Schechter played a major role in the development and implementation of the active optics system for the 6.5-m Magellan Telescopes, located on Cerro Las Campanas in Chile.
“Formation of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies by Self-Similar Gravitational Condensation,” W. H. Press, P. Schechter, Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 187, pp. 425-438 (1974) “An Analytic Expression for the Luminosity Function for Galaxies,” P. Schechter, Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 203, p. 297 – 306 (1976), “DOPHOT, a CCD photometry program: Description and tests,” P. Schechter, M. Mateo, S. Abhijit, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Publications (ISSN 0004-6280), vol. 105, no. 693, p. 1342-1353 (1993),