James H. Buckley

James H. Buckley

​Professor of Physics
PhD, University of Chicago
BS, University of Toledo
research interests:
  • Gamma-Ray Astrophysics
  • Optical Astronomy
  • Astroparticle Physics
  • Multiwavelength Astronomy
  • Direct and Indirect Searches for Dark Matter
  • Physics of Active Galaxies
  • Origin of Cosmic-Rays
  • Photodetector Development
  • Computer Architecture
  • Development of High-Speed Electronics

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1105-109-02
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Professor Buckley specializes in astrophysical research in high-energy phenomena. His research interests include the origin of cosmic rays, gamma-ray and multi-wavelength observations of active galaxies and experimental cosmology.​

Awards & Honors

2004 The Academy of Science of St. Louis Innovation Award
1998 Department of Energy, Outstanding Junior Investigator Award
1997 The Shakti Duggal Award - 25th International Cosmic Ray Conference
1996 Smithsonian Institution Special Achievement Award
1989-1992 NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program grant


  • Acting chairman of the VERITAS executive committee, founding member of VERITAS with 17 years research experience in γ -ray astronomy
  • Leader of the VERITAS FADC subproject; designed and fabricated the 2000 channel FADC system and other camera electronics for the VERITAS experiment.
  • PI on DOE-funded technology development (ADR program) for development of high-QE AlGaN/InGaN photodetectors using molecular beam epitaxy
  • NASA GSRP graduate research fellow (1990-1992) working on a NASA balloon experiment (RICH) with responsibility for detector design, construction, balloon-flight, and scientific data analysis of a ring-imaging Cherenkov detector for cosmic-ray research

recent courses

Electronics Laboratory (Physics 321)

Elements of linear and nonlinear circuits, amplifiers, feedback, with applications in experimental physics.

    Introduction to Astrophysics (Physics 312)

    This course covers the physics needed for higher level astrophysics courses, and is a requirement for those courses. Furthermore, it gives a first introduction to several topics in modern astrophysics, including stars (stellar structure and evolution), compact objects (neutron stars and black holes), galaxies (galactic structure), and cosmology. The course should be taken by everybody interested in astrophysics.

      Stellar Astrophysics (Physics 556)

      Discusses the physical processes that play a role inside stars. Relevant physical processes include emission and absorption processes, radiation transfer, convective transfer, the weak and strong interactions, nuclear processes and nuclear burning, and the thermodynamics of equilibrium and non-equilibrium processes in stellar interiors. Subsequently, these processes are used to explain the structure and evolution of stars of different mass ranges. Finally, the course discusses endpoints of stellar evolution of including white dwarfs, neutron stars, black holes, supernova explosions, and gamma-ray bursts.

        Electricity and Magnetism II (Physics 422)

        The second course in a two part series covering the classical theory of electricity and magnetism leading to the derivation and application of Maxwell's equation. Topics in electrodynamics including Faraday's law, the displacement current and Maxwell's equations in vacuum and in matter are covered. Electromagnetic waves and radiation, special relativity and relativistic electrodynamics will also be discussed.

          From our podcast:

          Hold That Thought Podcast

          The Search for Dark Matter

          James Buckley has spent part of his career hunting for neutralinos, a yet-undiscovered type of particle that may hold the answer to the dark-matter mystery. Buckley describes the evidence for the existence of neutralinos, the methods he uses to seek them out, and how he first became interested in the "dark and violent" side of the universe