Ramanath Cowsik

Ramanath Cowsik

​Director of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences
James S. McDonnell Professor of Space Sciences
PhD, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay University
MS, Karnatak University
BS, Mysore University

contact info:

mailing address:

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
  • CB 1105
  • ONE BROOKINGS DR.
  • ST. LOUIS, MO 63130-4899

​Professor Cowsik's scientific contributions span over several decades and are in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology and non-accelerator particle physics. He is interested in several problems in high energy astrophysics, dark matter, and cosmology.

For more information, visit Ramanath Cowsik's department profile.

Recent Courses

Galactic Astrophysics (Physics 546)

The last two semesters are devoted to high energy astrophysics, which is the study of highest energy radiations and the most powerful sources of such radiations in the universe. We begin the study with cosmic ray astrophysics and radio astronomy, fields which gave birth to the disciplines of elementary particles and relativistic astrophysics of quasars, pulsars and radiogalaxies.

    X-ray & Gamma-ray Astrophysics (Physics 460)

    Observers started to use X-ray and gamma-rays in the sixties and seventies to explore the cosmos with high-energy photons. The sky looks dramatically different at these energies with bright flares from mass accreting black holes and gamma-ray bursts and large diffuse emission from supernova remnants and cosmic rays interacting with galactic matter and magnetic fields dominating the emission. This course gives a comprehensive overview of the underlying physics and observable phenomenology. Topics that will be covered include the history of X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, high- energy radiation processes, particle heating and acceleration, accretion physics, blast waves and shocks, black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants, gamma-ray bursts, and galaxy clusters.