Smita Mathur

Smita Mathur

Smita Mathur

Professor of Astronomy

(614) 292-7881

4023 McPherson Lab

Areas of Expertise

  • Physics of active galactic nuclei
  • X-ray astronomy
  • The circumgalactic medium


  • Ph.D., Indian Institute of Science, 1991

Prof. Mathur joined the faculty in 1999. Her research is focused on observational studies of the matter content and thermal state of the circumgalactic medium, intergalactic medium, and the accretion rates, outflow properties, and scaling relations of supermassive black holes. She has made important contributions to the study of both narrow line Seyfert 1 AGN and broad absorption line quasars. Her work on X-ray and UV absorption lines has provided some of the first direct evidence of the warm-hot intergalactic medium, which theoretical models predict to be a major reservoir of cosmic baryons. Prof. Mathur's recent work focuses on the circumgalactic medium of the Milky Way. Her group showed that the Milky Way CGM is warm-hot, extended, and massive and may account for the Galactic missing baryons. They are now extending their work to understand the thermal state and chemical enrichment of the Milky Way CGM and of external galaxies. 

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