NASA Logo Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology View the NASA Portal
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
NASA Banner
JPL Science
JPL Science Division Home
Planetary Science Planetary Science
Astrophysics & Space Sciences Astrophysics & Space Sciences
Exoplanet Discovery and Science (3262)
Interstellar and Heliospheric Physics (3263)
Structure of the Universe (3266)
Origin of the Universe (3268)
Earth Science Earth Science
Directorate Science Affiliates Directorate Science Affiliates
Open Postdoc Positions Open Postdoc Positions
Brochures Brochures
 Structure of the Universe (3266): People
Paul Goldsmith's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 180-703
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
Curriculum Vitae:

Paul Goldsmith
Group Supervisor

Dr. Paul Goldsmith is Chief Technologist for the Astronomy, Physics, and Space Technology Directorate. His recent work has focused on determining time scales of processes associated with the formation of molecular clouds and young stars. This has included use of atomic hydrogen in molecular clouds as a tracer of their evolution and history. Goldsmith has also worked on determining the conditions for formation of massive stars by using molecular line and dust continuum emission. He has also been using specific tracers of chemistry in the interstellar medium to assess the impact of star formation on surrounding molecular cloud material via heating of dust, shock waves, and other processes. Goldsmith is the NASA Project Scientist for the Herschel Space Observatory, a far-infrared/submillimeter spectroscopic and photometric mission that was launched on May 14, 2009 and completed astronomical observations in 2013.

  • A.B, Physics, University of California, Berkeley (1969)
  • Ph.D, Physics, University of California, Berkeley (1975)

Research Interests

Dr. Goldsmith's areas of interest in astronomy include unraveling the structure of molecular clouds and understanding how star formation occurs within them. This has led to developing techniques for probing the densities, temperatures, and other physical conditions in these regions. In addition to carrying out ground-based and airborne observations, he was a co-investigator with the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS), studying water, atomic carbon, molecular oxygen, and carbon monoxide. Goldsmith has been involved with Herschel guaranteed time and open time key projects. He is PI on the Herschel Oxygen Project, which has made the first multitransition detection of this species in interstellar space.

Goldsmith is working with colleagues at JPL interpreting data from the fine structure line of ionized carbon. He has been involved in modeling the collisional excitation and radiative transfer of the 158 μm [CII] line. The first extensive velocity - resolved spectra of this important coolant of interstellar clouds have been obtained with the HIFI instrument on Herschel. Observations using the GREAT instrument on SOFIA are scheduled to continue this work.

Goldsmith has an ongoing interest in astronomical instrumentation, especially high-sensitivity systems at centimeter to submillimeter wavelengths. He has also been actively involved in development of focal plane array receivers for radio and submillimeter telescopes. He has worked on the optical design of multiobject spectrometer systems for the CCAT telescope and has participated in a number of proposals for array receivers for submillimeter fine structure lines on balloons and SOFIA.


Herschel Icon Herschel
The Herschel Space Observatory is a space-based telescope that studies the Universe in the light of the far-infrared and submillimeter portions of the spectrum.

Professional Experience
  • Adjunct Professor of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson (2009-Present)
  • Chief Technologist, Astronomy and Physics Directorate, Jet Propulstion Laboratory (2008-Present)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2006-Present)
  • NASA Project Scientist, Herschel Space Observatory
  • Visiting Associate, Department of Astronomy, Calif. Inst. Technology, Pasadena
  • Supervisor, Group 3266, Evolution of Galaxies (2006-2008)
  • Principal Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Calif. Inst. Technology, Pasadena (2005-2006)
  • Professor Emeritus of Astronomy, Cornell University (2005)
  • Professeur Invité, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France (2000, 2001, 2004)
  • James Weeks Professor in the Physical Sciences, Department of Astronomy, Cornell University (1999-2005)
  • Director, National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (1993-2002)
  • Professor, Department of Astronomy, Cornell University (1993-2005)
  • Professor, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (1986-1992)
  • Vice President of Research and Development, Millitech Corporation (1982-1992)
  • Associate Director, Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (1980-1992)

Selected Awards
  • Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication (2012)
  • NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (2012)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award (2010)
  • NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal (2010)
  • James Weeks Professor in the Physical Sciences, Cornell University (1999)
  • IEEE Microwave Theory & Techniques Society - Distinguished Lecturer (1992)
  • Fellow, Insitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (1991)

Selected Publications
  1. "Molecular Depletion and Thermal Balance in Dark Cloud Cores," Goldsmith, P.F. , & Langer, W.D. 2001, ApJ, 557, 736.
  2. "Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite and Arecibo Observations of H2O and OH in a Diffuse Cloud Along the Line of Sight to W51," Neufeld, D.A., Kaufman, M.J., Goldsmith, P.F. , Hollenbach, D.J., & Plume, R. 2002, ApJ, 580, 278.
  3. "Radio Telescopes and Measurements at Radio Wavelengths," Goldsmith, P.F., ASP Conf. Series Vol. 278, Proc. Conf. Single Dish Radio Astronomy Techniques and Applications, S. Stanimirovic, D.R. Altschuler, P.F. Goldsmith, & C.J. Salter eds. San Francisco: ASP, 45, 2002.
  4. "HI Narrow Self-Absorption in Dark Clouds: Correlations with Molecular Gas and Implications for Cloud Evolution and Star Formation," Goldsmith, P.F. & Li, D.2005, ApJ, 622, 938.
  5. "Large-Scale Structure of the Molecular Gas in Taurus Revealed by High Linear Dynamic Range Spectral Line Mapping,' Goldsmith, P.F. , Heyer, M., Narayanan, G., Snell, R., Li, D., & Brunt, C., 2008, ApJ, 680, 428.
  6. "A Flexible Quasioptical Input System for a Submillimeter Multiobject Spectrometer," Goldsmith, P.F. & Seiffert, M. 2009, Publ. Astr. Soc. Pacific, 121, 375.
  7. "The Arecibo Methanol Maser Galactic Plane Survey. III. Distances and Luminosities," Pandian, J.D., Menten, K.M., & Goldsmith, P.F. 2009, ApJ, 706, 1609.
  8. A Survey of HI Narrow SelfAbsorption in Molecular Cores," Krco, M. & Goldsmith, P.F. 2010, ApJ, 724, 1402.
  9. Demonstration of a Room Temperature 2.48-2.75 THz Coherent Spectroscopy Source," Pearson, J.C., Drouin, B..J., Maestrini, A., Mehdi, I., Ward, J. Lin, R.H., Yu, S., Gill, J.J., Thomas, B., Lee, C., Chattopadhyay, G., Schlecht, E., Maiwald, F.W., Goldsmith, P.F., & Siegel, P. 2011, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 82, 093105.
  10. Herschel Measurements of Molecular Oxygen in Orion,'' Goldsmith, P.F., Liseau, R., Bell, T.A., Black, J. H., Chen, J.-H., Hollenbach, D., Kaufman, M.J., Li, D., Lis, D.C., Melnick, G., Neufeld, D., Pagani, L., Snell, R., Benz, A.O., Bergin, E., Bruderer, S., Caselli, P., Caux, E., Encrenaz, P., Falgarone, E., Gerin, M., Goicoechea, J.R., Hjalmarson, A., Larsson, B., Le Bourlot, J., Le Petit, F., De Luca, M., Nagy, Z., Roueff, E., Sandqvist, A., van der Tak, F., van Dishoeck, E.F., Vastel, C., Viti, S., Yildiz, U. 2011, ApJ, 737, 96.
  11. The Magnetic Field in Taurus Probed by Infrared Polarization,'' Chapman, N.L., Goldsmith, P.F., Pineda, J.L., Clemens, D.P., Li, D., & Krco, M. 2011, ApJ, 741, 21.
  12. Early Science Results from the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel Space Observatory,", Goldsmith, P.F. & Lis, D.C. 2012, IEEE Trans. Terahertz Science and Technology, 2, 383.
  13. Is the Taurus B213 Region a True Filament?: Observations of Multiple Cyanoacetylene Transitions," Li, D. & Goldsmith, P.F. 2012, ApJ, 756, 12.
  14. Collisional Excitation of the [CII] Fine Structure Transition in Interstellar Clouds," Goldsmith, P.F. , Langer, W.D., Pineda, J.L., & Velusamy, T. 2012, ApJS 203, 13.
  15. Water Absorption in Galactic Translucent clouds: Conditions and History of the Gas Derived from {it Herschel}/HIFI PRISMAS Observations," Flagey, N., Goldsmith, P.F., Lis, D.C., Gerin, M., Neufeld, D., Sonnentrucker, P., De Luca, M., Godard, B., Goicoechea, J.R., Monje, R., & Phillips, T.G. 2012, ApJ, 762, 11.
  16. Space Antennas for Radio Astronomy," Chapter 16 in Space Antenna Handbook, W. Imbriale, S. Gao, & L. Boccia, eds. Chichester: Wiley, 2012.
  17. Korean VLBI Network Receiver Optics for Simultaneous Multifrequency Observations: Evaluation," Han, S., Lee, J., Kang, J., Oh, C., Byun, D., Je., Chung, M., Wi, S., Song, M., Kang, Y., Lee, S., Kim, S., Sasao, T., Goldsmith P.F., & Wylde, R. 2013, PASP, 125, 139.
  18. A Herschel [CII] Galactic Plane Survey I. The Global Distribution of ISM Gas Components," Pineda, J.L., Langer, W.D., Velusamy, T., & Goldsmith, P.F. 2013, Astron. Astrophys., 554, A103.
  19. Diffuse Molecular Cloud Densities From UV Measurements of CO Absorption," Goldsmith, P.F. 2013, ApJ, 774, 134.
  20. Low Virial Parameters in Molecular Clouds: Implications for High-Mass Star Formation and Magnetic Fields," Kauffmann, J.K, Pilai, T., & Goldsmith, P.F. 2013, ApJ, 779, 185.
  21. C+ In the Interstellar Medium: Collisional Excitation by H2 Revisited," Wiesenfeld, L. & Goldsmith, P.F. 2014, ApJ, 780, 183.
  22. A Herschel [CII] Galactic Plane Survey II. CO-Dark H2 in Clouds," Langer, W.D., Velusamy, T., Pineda, J.L., Willacy, K., & Goldsmith, P.F. 2014, Astron. Astrophys., 561, A122.

Group Home Page
People in this Group
Group Projects

JPL Privacy Statement Sitemap Email Contact Form