Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Professor of Physics
Additional Titles: 
Gabilan Professorship

Varian Physics Bldg. Rm. 158
382 Via Pueblo Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-4060

Phone Number: 
Fax Number: 
Contact Email: 
Support Staff: 

Research Interests

Professor Burchat's research interests focus on fundamental questions in physics:  What is the Universe made of?  What are the laws of physics that govern the constituents of the Universe?  She studies the Universe at both the smallest and the largest scales, using accelerators to probe the elementary particles and the fundamental interactions, and telescopes to investigate the cosmological evolution of the Universe.

Prof. Burchat is a member of an international collaboration developing a telescope that will provide the most complete census of the Universe to date -- the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.  The LSST design corresponds to an 8.4-meter ground-based telescope with a 10-square-degree field of view that will survey the Universe with an unprecedented combination of breadth (coverage of the entire night-sky approximately every three nights) and depth (sensitivity to matter densities up to seven billion light-years away). The baseline design for the LSST camera is a 3.2 Gigapixel CCD array, which will be read out in approximately 2 seconds, every 15 seconds, generating tens of terabytes of data each night. The telescope will be located on Cerro Pachon, an 8,800-foot mountain peak in northern Chile. The telescope is scheduled to see “first light” around 2019.

Prof. Burchat's group works within the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration to prepare to fully optimize the use of the gravitational bending of light by "dark matter" to study the evolution of "dark energy" -- shedding light on the identity of these components that make up the majority of the energy density of the Universe. She worked with colleagues at Stanford to measure the masses of giant clusters of galaxies using images from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.

Professor Burchat has been a key player in a number of accelerator-based particle physics experiments: Mark II at the SLAC Linear Collider, E791 at Fermilab, and BABAR at SLAC. Each of these experiments probed the fundamental interactions, especially the “weak” interaction. The research of Burchat's group in these experiments included pioneering studies of the neutral carrrier of the weak interaction (the Z0), searches for heavy neutral leptons, precision studies of semileptonic decays of charm mesons, searches for and discovery of charm mixing, and detailed studies of differences in the way matter and antimatter evolve in time (CP violation in B meson decays).

Prof. Burchat grew up in a very large family in a very small town in Canada. She is passionate about teaching and instilling enthusiasm for science in her students.  At Stanford, she has received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching. She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is past-Chair of the National Organizing Committee for the APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics.

Prof. Burchat currently holds the following positions in scientific collaborations, institutes and the community:

Specialties: LSST, BaBar, Fermilab E791, CUWiP

Recent Publications and highlights

LSST: From Science Drivers to Reference Design and Anticipated Data Products, Z. Ivezic et al., last updated August 2014, http://arxiv.org/abs/0805.2366

LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration Featured Project -- Impact of Chromatic Effects on Weak Lensing

Impact of Atmospheric Chromatic Effects on Weak Lensing Measurements, http://arxiv.org/abs/1409.6273  Joshua E. Meyers, Patricia R. Burchat. Submitted to The Astrophysical Journal.

Impact of Chromatic Effects on Galaxy Shape Measurements, http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.5101
Joshua E. Meyers, Patricia R. Burchat.
Physics Department and Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University.
Proceedings of Workshop on Precision Astronomy with Fully Depleted CCDs, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 2013. Published in Journal of Instrumentation 9, C03037 (2014).

Robust weak-lensing mass calibration of Planck galaxy clusters, http://arxiv.org/abs/1402.2670,
Anja von der Linden
(1,2), Adam Mantz (3), Steven W. Allen (2), Douglas E. Applegate (4), Patrick L. Kelly (5), R. Glenn Morris (2), Adam Wright (2), Mark T. Allen (2), Patricia R. Burchat (2), David L. Burke (2), David Donovan (6), Harald Ebeling (6).
(1) DARK Cosmology Centre, (2) KIPAC Stanford/SLAC, (3) KICP Chicago, (4) Bonn, (5) UC Berkeley, (6) IfA Hawaii.
Published in MNRAS (2014) doi: 10.1093/mnras/stu1423

Weighing the Giants -- I: Weak-Lensing Masses for 51 Massive Galaxy Clusters - Project Overview, Data Analysis Methods, and Cluster Images, http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0597,
Anja von der Linden (1), Mark T. Allen (1), Douglas E. Applegate (1), Patrick L. Kelly (1), Steven W. Allen (1), Harald Ebeling (2), Patricia R. Burchat (1), David L. Burke (1),  David Donovan (2), R. Glenn Morris (1), Roger Blandford (1), Thomas Erben (3), Adam Mantz (4).
(1) KIPAC Stanford/SLAC, (2) IfA Hawaii, (3) AIfA Bonn, (4) KICP Chicago.
Published in MNRAS (2014) doi: 10.1093/mnras/stt1945

Weighing the Giants -- II: Improved Calibration of Photometry from Stellar Colors and Accurate Photometric Redshifts, http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0602,
Patrick L. Kelly (1), Anja von der Linden (1), Douglas E. Applegate (1), Mark T. Allen (1), Steven W. Allen (1), Patricia R. Burchat (1), David L. Burke (1), Harald Ebeling (2),  Peter Capak (3), Oliver Czoske (4), David Donovan (2), Adam Mantz (5), R. Glenn Morris (1).
(1) KIPAC Stanford/SLAC, (2) IfA Hawaii, (3) Caltech, (4) IfA Vienna, (5) KICP Chicago.
Published in MNRAS (2014) doi: 10.1093/mnras/stt1946

Weighing the Giants --  III: Methods and Measurements of Accurate Galaxy Cluster Weak-Lensing Masses, http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0605,
Douglas E. Applegate (1), Anja von der Linden (1), Patrick L. Kelly (1), Mark T. Allen (1), Steven W. Allen (1), Patricia R. Burchat (1), David L. Burke (1), Harald Ebeling (2),  Adam Mantz (3), R. Glenn Morris (1).
(1) KIPAC Stanford/SLAC, (2) IfA Hawaii, (3) KICP Chicago.
Published in MNRAS (2014) doi: 10.1093/mnras/stt2129

Weighing the Giants -- IV: Cosmology and Neutrino Mass, http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.0310,
Adam B. Mantz (1), Anja von der Linden (2,3), Steven W. Allen (2), Douglas E. Applegate (4), Patrick L. Kelly (5), R. Glenn Morris (2), David A. Rapetti (3), Robert W. Schmidt (6), Saroj Adhikari (7), Mark T. Allen (2), Patricia R. Burchat (2), David L. Burke (2), Matteo Cataneo (3), David Donovon (8), Harald Ebeling (8), Sarah Shandera (7).
(1) KICP Chicago, (2) KIPAC Stanford/SLAC, (3) DARK Cosmology Centre, (4) Bonn, (5) UC Berkeley, (6) Heidelberg, (7) IGC Penn. State, (8) IfA Hawaii.
Submitted to MNRAS. Accepted October 7, 2014.

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Dark Energy Science Collaboration, November 2012, arXiv:1211.0310, a White Paper describing the goals of the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration and its work plan for the next three years, 133 pages.

Career History

  • B. Appl. Sci. Eng. (Engineering Science), University of Toronto, 1981 
  • Ph.D., Stanford University, 1986 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Cruz Inst. for Particle Physics, 1986-88 
  • Assistant Professor, UC Santa Cruz, 1988-92 
  • Associate Professor, UC Santa Cruz, 1992-94 
  • Associate Professor, Stanford University, 1995-2000
  • Professor, Stanford University, 2000-present

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2012
  • 2010 Judith Pool Award for mentoring young women in science
  • Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2007
  • Gabilan Professorship, 2006
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2005
  • Sapp Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, 2004-2009, 
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2001
  • Stanford University Fellow, 1996-98 
  • The Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, 1996-97   
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1991

Selected Presentations

Postdoctoral Research Associates 

  • Joshua Meyers, PhD 2012, UC Berkeley
  • Former RAs (Stanford):
    • Mark Allen (Director, Business Analytics at Chegg)
    • Matt Bellis (Assistant Professor at Siena College)
    • David Kirkby (Professor at UC Irvine)
    • Brian Petersen (Staff Scientist at CERN)
    • Eugenia Puccio, PhD 2011, U Warwick
    • Leif Wilden (Software Engineer at Google)

Graduate Students

  • Rotation students: Winter 2015 --
    • Sowmya Kamath
    • Adam Snyder
  • Primary advisor for former graduate students:
    • Chih-hsiang Cheng PhD Stanford 2002  (Senior Research Fellow at Caltech)
    • Adam Edwards PhD Stanford 2008
    • Pauline Gagnon PhD UCSC 1993 (Senior Research Scientist, Indianna U; Scientific Communications, CERN)
    • Judy Leslie PhD UCSC 1996
    • Mary King PhD UCSC 1991 (Pharma Counsel at McKesson Corporation)
    • Stephanie Majewski PhD Stanford 2007 (Assistant Professor at U of Oregon)
    • Tim Meyer PhD Stanford 2002 (Head, Strategic Planning and Communications at TRIUMF)
    • Tomo Miyashita PhD Stanford 2013 
    • Chris Roat PhD Stanford 2004 (Senior Staff Software Engineer at GoogleX)
    • Renata Zaliznyak PhD Stanford 1998 (R&D Engineer at Synopsys)
  • Secondary advisor for former graduate students:
    • Nicole Ackerman
    • Sam Bockenhauer
    • Kathy Pullen

Undergraduate research assistants

  • Luis Alvarez
  • Irving Rodriguez
  • Former undergraduates:
    • Malcolm Durkin
    • Klara Elteto
    • Reyna Garcia
    • Elliott Jin
    • Brian Kaczynski
    • Yu Xian Lim
    • Beth Nowadnick
    • Emma Pierson
    • Daniel Podolsky
    • Eddie Santos
    • Dakin Sloss
    • Ariel Sommer
    • Brendan Wells
    • Hasmik Yepremyan
    • Yue Zhao
Lansdowne Public Lecture on "The Dark Side of the Universe", Nov 20114.77 MB
Lansdowne Colloquium on "Identifying the Nature of Dark Matter, Nov 2011 (with slide builds)6.89 MB
Lansdowne Colloquium on "Identifying the Nature of Dark Matter, Nov 2011 (no slide builds)5.98 MB
Family Science and Astronomy Festival, CSM, Oct 2014 (with slide builds)7.38 MB