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Charles (Matt) Bradford

Photo of Charles Bradford


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 169-506

Pasadena, CA 91109





Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Interstellar and Heliospheric Physics


Dr. Bradford’s research brings new detector and instrument technology to bear on questions of star formation, the interstellar medium, and their evolution across the cosmic history. He has led the development and fielding of new submillimeter and millimeter-wave spectrometers on mountaintop sites, using the datasets to study gas conditions in galaxies both nearby and distant. Two major recent thrusts have been the leading the definition of cryogenic far-IR astrophysics mission concepts, and the development of ultra-sensitive superconducting far-infrared detector arrays to take full advantage these low-background observatories. He is Project Scientist for PRIMA, JPL’s far-IR astrophysics Probe concept.

Current instruments in development include a balloon-borne far-IR spectrometer (TIM), a millimeter-wave line intensity mapping experiment (TIME), and a demonstration of a novel millimeter-wave on-chip filterbank spectrometer (SuperSpec).


  • B.S. Physics, Stanford University. (1994)
  • Ph.D. Astronomy, Cornell University, Advisor: Prof. Gordon Stacey. (2000)

Professional Experience

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (2003-Present)

  • Principal Scientist, Astrophysics and Space Sciences (2023-present)
  • Research Scientist, Astrophysics and Space Sciences (2003-2023)
  • Director’s Fellow, Astrophysics Element (2003-2006)

California Institute of Technology (2001-Present)

  • Visiting Faculty Associate, Department of Physics (2003-Present)
  • R.A Millikan Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics (2001-2003)

Research Interests

  • The properties and energetics of the interstellar medium in galactic nuclei andregions of active star formation.
  • Far-IR - millimeter wave spectroscopic probes of the gas conditions in the Galaxy,nearby galaxies, and at high redshift.
  • Novel ground-based instrumentation to facilitate sensitive new spectroscopicmeasurements at the Earth's best submillimeter and millimeter-wave sites.
  • Development of ultra-sensitive far-infrared detector systems to realize the potential of cryogenic space-borne observatories.

Selected Awards

  • NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Award (2010)
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2009)
  • JPL Director's Fellowship (2003-2005)

Selected Publications

  1. Uzgil, Bade D.; Bradford, C. Matt; Hailey-Dunsheath, Steve; Maloney, Philip R.; Aguirre, James E. 2016. Constraining the ISM Properties of the Cloverleaf Quasar Host Galaxy with Herschel Spectroscopy. ApJ 832, 209.
  2. Bradford, C. M.; Goldsmith, P. F.; Bolatto, A.; Armus, L.; Bauer, J.; Appleton, P.; Cooray, A.; Casey, C.; Dale, D.; Uzgil, B.; Aguirre, J.; Smith, J. D.; Sheth, K.; Murphy, E. J.; McKenney, C.; Holmes, W.; Rizzo, M.; Bergin, E.; Stacey, G. 2016.   A Cryogenic Space Telescope for Far-Infrared Astrophysics: A Vision for NASA in the 2020 Decade. arXiv: 1505.05551.
  3. Bradford, C. M.; Hailey-Dunsheath, S.; Shirokoff, E.; Hollister, M.; McKenney, C. M.; LeDuc, H. G.; Reck, T.; Chapman, S. C.; Tikhomirov, A.; Nikola, T.; Zmuidzinas, J. 2014. X-Spec: a multi-object trans-millimeter-wave spectrometer for CCAT. Proc. of the SPIE 9153, 91531Y.
  4. Hailey-Dunsheath, S.; Shirokoff, E.; Barry, P. S.; Bradford, C. M.; Chapman, S.; Che, G.; Glenn, J.; Hollister, M.; Kovács, A.; LeDuc, H. G.; Mauskopf, P.; McKenney, C.; O'Brient, R.; Padin, S.; Reck, T.; Shiu, C.; Tucker, C. E.; Wheeler, J.; Williamson, R.; Zmuidzinas, J. 2015. Low Noise Titanium Nitride KIDs for SuperSpec: A Mm-Wave On-Chip Spectrometer. J. Low Temp. Physics, 184, 180.
  5. Lupu, R. E.; Scott, K. S.; Aguirre, J. E.; Aretxaga, I.; Auld, R.; Barton, E.; Beelen, A.; Bertoldi, F.; Bock, J. J.; Bonfield, D.; Bradford, C. M.; Buttiglione, S.; Cava, A.; Clements, D. L.; Cooke, J.; Cooray, A.; Dannerbauer, H.; Dariush, A.; De Zotti, G.; Dunne, L.; Dye, S.; Eales, S.; Frayer, D.; Fritz, J.; Glenn, J.; Hughes, D. H.; Ibar, E.; Ivison, R. J.; Jarvis, M. J.; Kamenetzky, J.; Kim, S.; Lagache, G.; Leeuw, L.; Maddox, S.; Maloney, P. R.; Matsuhara, H.; Murphy, E. J.; Naylor, B. J.; Negrello, M.; Nguyen, H.; Omont, A.; Pascale, E.; Pohlen, M.; Rigby, E.; Rodighiero, G.; Serjeant, S.; Smith, D.; Temi, P.; Thompson, M.; Valtchanov, I.; Verma, A.; Vieira, J. D.; Zmuidzinas, J.. et al., 2012. Measurements of CO Redshifts with Z-Spec for Lensed Submillimeter Galaxies Disovered in the H-ATLAS Survey, Astrophys. J., 757, 135.
  6. Gong, Y., Cooray, A., Silva, M., Santos, M.G., Bock, J., Bradford, C.M., Zemcov, M., 2012. Intensity Mapping of the [CII] Fine-Structure Line During the Epoch of Reioinzation. Astrophys. J., 745, 49.
  7. Zemcov, M.; Aguirre, J.; Bock, J.; Bradford, C. M.; Czakon, N.; Glenn, J.; Golwala, S. R.; Lupu, R.; Maloney, P.; Mauskopf, P.; Million, E.; Murphy, E. J.; Naylor, B.; Nguyen, H.; Rosenman, M.; Sayers, J.; Scott, K. S.; Zmuidzinas, J., 2012. High Spectral-Resolution Measurement of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Effect Null with Z-Spec, Astrophys. J., 749, 114.
  8. Uzgil, B.; Aguirre, J.E.; Bradford, C.M.; and Lidz, A., 2014. Measuring Galaxy Clustering and the Evolution of [C II] Mean Intensity with Far-IR Line Intensity Mapping during 0.5 < z < 1.5. Astrophys. J. 793, article 112.
  9. Beyer, Andrew D.; Kenyon, M.; Echternach, P. M.; Bumble, B.; Runyan, M. C.; Chui, T.; Bradford, C. M.; Holmes, W. A.; Bock, J. J., 2012. Development of fast, background-limited transition-edge sensors for the background-limited infrared/sub-mm spectrograph (BLISS) for SPICA, Proc. of the SPIE, Vol. 8452, 84520G.
  10. Bradford, C.M., Bolatto, A. D.; Maloney, P. R.; Aguirre, J. E.; Bock, J. J.; Glenn, J.; Kamenetzky, J.; Lupu, R.; Matsuhara, H.; Murphy, E. J.; Naylor, B. J.; Nguyen, H. T.; Scott, K.; Zmuidzinas, J., 2011. The Water Vapor Spectrum of APM 08279+5255: X-Ray Heating and Infrared Pumping over Hundreds of Parsecs, Astrophys. J.Letters in press.
  11. Bradford, C. M.; Bock, James; Holmes, Warren; Kenyon, M.; Beyer, A.; Werner, M.; Rud, M.; Prouvé, T.; Echternach, P.; Irwin, K.; Cho, S.; Harwit, M.; Stacey, G.; Helou, G.; Armus, L.; Appleton, P.; Smith, J. D.; Gorti, U.; Rieke, G.; Egami, E.; Lester, D.; Glenn, J.; Malkan, M.; Dale, D. 2010, The background-limited infrared-submillimeter spectrograph (BLISS) for SPICA: a design study, Proceedings of the SPIE, vol 7731, 77310S
  12. Bradford, C.M., Aguirre, J.E., Aikin, R., Bock, J.J., Earle, L., Glenn, J., Iname, H., Maloney, P., Matsuhara, H., Naylor, B.J., Nguyen, H.T., and Zmuidzinas, J., 2009. The Warm Molecular Gas Around the Cloverleaf Quasar, Astrophys. J. 705, 112-122.
  13. Naylor, B.J, Bradford, C.M.; Aguirre, J. E.; Bock, J. J.; Earle, L.; Glenn, J.; Inami, H.; Kamenetzky, J.; Maloney, P. R.; Matsuhara, H.; Nguyen, H. T.; Zmuidzinas, J. 2010. A Census of the High-Density Molecular Gas in M82, Astrophys. J. 722, 668-681.
  14. Kamenetzky, J.; Glenn, J.; Maloney, P. R.; Aguirre, J. E.; Bock, J. J.; Bradford, C. M.; Earle, L.; Inami, H.; Matsuhara, H.; Murphy, E. J.; Naylor, B. J.; Nguyen, H. T.; Zmuidzinas, J. 2011. The Dense Molecular Gas in the Circumnuclear Disk of NGC 1068, Astrophys. J. 731, id 83.
  15. Negrello, Mattia et al.; 2010, The Detection of a Population of Submillimeter-Bright, Strongly Lensed Galaxies, Science, 330, 800. (using Z-Spec redshifts)
  16. Beyer, A.D.; Kenyon, M. E.; Echternach, P. M.; Eom, B.-H.; Bueno, J.; Day, P. K.; Bock, J. J.; Bradford, C. M.; 2010, Characterizing silicon-nitride absorbers and support beams for far-infrared/submillimeter transition-edge sensors, Proc. SPIE, 741, 21.
  17. Bradford, C.M., Naylor, B.J., Zmuidzinas, J., Bock, J.J., Dragovan, M., Yun, M., Earle, L., Glenn,J., Matsuhara, H., Ade, P., Duband, L. (2005) "Z-Spec: a broadband millimeter-wave grating spectrometer: design, construction, and first cryogenic measurements," Proc. SPIE 4850, 1137.
  18. Bradford, C.M., Nikola, T., Stacey, G.J., Bolatto, A.D., Jackson, J.M., Savage, M.L., Davidson, J.A., (2004) "High Resolution Imaging of CO (J=7->6) in the Central 2 pc of the Galaxy: Dynamical Heating of the Circumnuclear Disk," Astrophys. J. 623, 866.
  19. Bradford, C.M., Naylor, B.J., Zmuidzinas, J., Bock, J.J., Dragovan, M., Yun, M., Earle, L., Glenn,J., Matsuhara, H, Ade, P. Duband, L., (2003). "WaFIRS: a waveguide far-IR spectrometer: enabling spectroscopy of high-z galaxies in the far-IR and submillimeter." Proc. SPIE 4850, 1137.
  20. Bradford, C.M., Nikola, T., Stacey, G.J., Bolatto, A.D., Jackson, J.M., Savage, M.L., Davidson, J.A., Higdon, S.J. (2003) "CO (J=7->6) Observations of NGC 253: Evidence for Cosmic-Ray Heated Warm Molecular Gas," Astrophys. J. 586, 891.
  21. Bradford, C.M., Stacey, G.J., Swain, M.R., Nikola, T., Bolatto, A.D., Jackson, J.M., Savage, M.L., Davidson, J.A. and Ade, P., (2002), "SPIFI: a direct-detection imaging spectrometer for submillimeter wavelengths, Applied Optics, 41, 2561-2575.
  22. Bradford, C.M., Stacey, G.J., Fischer, J., Smith, H.A., Cohen, R.J., Greenhouse, M.A., Lord, S.D., Lutz, D., Maiolino, R., Malkan, M.A., Rieu, N.Q. (1999), "ISO Spectroscopy of OH in the starburst galaxy NGC 253," in The Universe as seen by ISO, Eds. P. Cox & M.F. Kessler, p. 861.