Dr. Jerry E. Nelson

Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Astronomer, UC Observatories/Lick Observatory

Office: 215 Center for Adaptive Optics
Phone: 831-459-5132
Email: jnelson@ucolick.org




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Educational Background:

  • B.S., California Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Research Interest:

Technology Center. The CfAO is concerned with using adaptive optics to do astronmical science and vision science, and with spreading the appropriate observing techniques to the broad community. The Center also supports the development of new scientific instrumentation that uses adaptive optics. In addition, advanced AO technology is supported, with the aim of producing more capable AO systems in the future, both for giant telescopes where AO is particularly effective, and in vision science, where more compact and user/patient friendly AO systems will help the study of the human retina.

He is actively involved in the design of future giant telescopes. He is the Keck Observatory Scientist, having been involved with the design of the two Keck telescopes.

He is also involved in the adaptive optics system being used and developed at Keck. The Keck AO system can make diffraction limited images at wavelengths as short at 1 micron, producing image resolution as good as 0.02 arc seconds. When complete, the Keck AO system will use a Na laser guide star to dramatically increase sky coverage over that available with natural guide stars.