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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Chris Haniff read Natural Sciences (Physics) at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge from 1981-84, and received a PhD in Astronomy from the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge (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. He was Deputy Head of Department (Education) from 2013-2019.

Curriculum Vitae


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


Key publications: 

“The HOSTS Survey for Exozodiacal Dust: Observational Results from the Complete Survey”, Ertel, A., Defrere, D.; Hinz, P. M.; Mennesson, B.; et al, 2020 Astron. J., 159, article id. 177.

“The Planet Formation Imager”, Monnier, J.D.; Kraus, S.; Ireland, M.J.; et al, 2018 Experimental Astronomy, 46, Issue 3, pp. 517-529

“Aperture synthesis imaging of coloured GEO objects”, Young, J.S.; Hnaiff, C.A.; Buscher, D.F; et al, 2018 Proc. SPIE, 10701 id. 107012F 8pp.

“Nulling Data Reduction and On-sky Performance of the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer”, Defrere, 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

MASt Assistant Course Director
Fellow & Director of Studies in Physics, Downing College
Professor Chris  Haniff

Contact Details

Email address: 
Room F29
Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics,
Cavendish Laboratory,
JJ Thomson Avenue
Cambridge CB3 0HE
+44 (0)1223 337307


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