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Professor Chris Haniff

Professor Chris Haniff

Deputy Head of Department (Education)

Director of Graduate Education

Professorial Fellow & Director of Studies in Physics, Downing College

Room F29
Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics,
Cavendish Laboratory,
JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0HE

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337307


Chris Haniff studied Natural Sciences (Physics) at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge from 1981-84, following this with a PhD in Astronomy at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, from 1984-1988 where he undertook the first measurements of optical closure phases from an astronomical source. He was a research fellow at Christ's College Cambridge from 1986-89 and 1991-93, intermitting to spend two years at Caltech from 1989-91. He held the Royal Society's Moseley Research Fellowship at the Cavendish from 1992-1999 and was appointed to a lectureship there in 1998. He was promoted to Reader in 2002 and to a personal chair in 2005. He has held an adjunct professorial position at New Mexico Tech since 2005, where he has been one of the System Architects of Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer since 2002.

Research groups


Research Interests

My research is in the general area of optics for very high spatial astronomical imaging, especially the application of interferometric (aperture synthesis) methods at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. Particular areas of in interest include: image formation and retrieval, atmospheric turbulence, adaptive optics, and the system design and architecture of large optical synthesis arrays. 


  • Astrophysics
  • Education


Key Publications

“Nulling Data Reduction and On-sky Performance of the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer”, Defrre, D.; Hinz, P. M.; Mennesson, B.; et al, 2016 Ap. J., 824, article id. 66.

“The conceptual design of the Magdalena Ridge Observatory Interferometer”, Buscher, D.F., Creech- Eakman, M., Farris, A., Haniff, C.A., Young, J.S. 2013 J. Astronomical Instrumentation, 2, 1340001.

“Resolving the hot dust around HD69830 and Eta Corvi with MIDI and VISIR”, Smith, R., Wyatt, M.C., Haniff, C.A. 2009 Astron. Astrophys., 503, 265–279.

“Minimizing the effects of polarization crosstalk on the imaging fidelity of an optical interferometer”, Buscher, D.F., Haniff, C.A., Baron, F. 2009 Pub. Ast. Soc. Pac., 121, 45–53.

"The application of interferometry to optical astronomical imaging". Baldwin, J.E., Haniff, C.A., 2001 Phil. Trans. A., 360, 969-986.

"Diffraction losses in ground-based optical interferometers". Horton, A.J., Buscher, D.F., Haniff, C.A. 2001 Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., 327, 217-226.

“Michelson Interferometry with the Keck I Telescope”, Tuthill, P.G., Monnier, J.D., Danchi, W.C., Wishnow, E.H., Haniff, C.A. 2000 P.A.S.P., 112, 555–565.

“Least-squares Fourier phase estimation from the modulo 2 bispectrum phase” Haniff, C.A. 1991 J.
Opt. Soc. Am. A., 8, 134–140.

“Synthetic aperture imaging at infrared wavelengths”, Haniff, C.A., Buscher, D.F., Christou J.C., Ridgway, S.T. 1989 Mon. Not. R. astr. Soc., 241, 51p–56p.

“High resolution emission line imaging of Seyfert galaxies – II. Evidence for anisotropic ionizing radiation”, Wilson, A.S., Ward, M.J., Haniff, C.A. 1988 Astrophys. J., 334, 121–129.

“High resolution emission line imaging of Seyfert galaxies – I. Observations”, Haniff, C.A., Wilson, A.S., Ward, M.J., 1988 Astrophys. J., 334, 104–120.

“The first images from optical aperture synthesis”, Haniff, C.A., Mackay, C.D., Titterington, D.J., Sivia, D., Baldwin, J.E., Warner, P.J. 1987 Nature, 328, 694–696.

“Closure phase in high-resolution optical imaging”, Baldwin, J.E., Haniff, C.A., Mackay, C.D., Warner, P.J. 1986 Nature, 320, 595–597.

Full list of publications