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Eric Perlman

Professor | College of Engineering and Science - Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences

Contact Information
(321) 674-7741
F.W. Olin Physical Sciences, 338

Personal Overview

Dr. Perlman is an observational astrophysicist whose research concentrates on the nuclei of galaxies, their physics and evolution, particularly those in which the central black hole has a large rate of accretion and is abnormally active (the so-called active galactic nuclei). He also specializes in the structure and physics of high-velocity outflows from compact objects and AGN, particularly, jets. He also has a strong interest in clusters of galaxies, galactic activity in clusters and observational cosmology. He also has taken an active interest in the intersection of quantum gravity and astrophysics.  He takes a multiwaveband approach to these subjects, and has worked in virtually every energy range from the radio through gamma-rays.  He is also interested in the process of accretion, including events that can temporarily make black holes active (tidal disruption events).  He is also pursuing interests in astrobiology, particularly the impact of active black holes on habitable planets.

Dr. Perlman has a strong record of funding that includes two 5-year NASA Long-Term Space Astrophysics grants and two NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics grants, as well as two dozen approved Hubble and Chandra grants.  He was a member of the AGN science team for CanariCam, a first-light instrument for the Gran Telescopio Canarias, and is now a science team member for MIRADAS, one of the GTC's third-generation instruments.   He has a strong record of service to the astronomical community nationwide as well as to the academic community at Florida Tech.  He oversees the Physics Resource Center, which helps students achieve greater success in physics and space sciences at Florida Tech.

Dr. Perlman came to Florida Tech in 2007 after postdoctoral fellowships at Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute, as well as research staff and research faculty positions at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He maintains a large research group that includes typically 3-4 graduate students and 15 undergraduate research assistants. In his spare time, he enjoys chess, singing, scrabble, reading, photography, bicycling and working out.


Educational Background

Ph.D. The University of Colorado 1994
A.B. Occidental College 1989

Professional Experience

Professor, Department of Physics & Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 2014-PRESENT

Associate Professor, Department of Physics & Space Sciences, Florida Institute of Technology, 2007-2014

Research Associate Professor, Physics Department & Joint Center for Astrophysics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2005-2006)

Observatory Coordinator, Physics Department & Joint Center for Astrophysics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2003-2006)

Research Assistant Professor, Physics Department & Joint Center for Astrophysics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2000-2005)

Visiting Scholar, Center for Astrophysical Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University (2000-2006)

Associate Research Scientist, Center for Astrophysical Sciences, The Johns Hopkins University (1999-2000)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Space Telescope Science Institute (1996-1999)

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Goddard Space Flight Center (1994-1996)

Professional Service

Member, International X-ray Observatory Science Associates (2008-Present)

Member, AAS Working Group on Professional-Amateur Collaboration (2007-Present)

Member, AIP White Paper committee on the Future of Ground-Based Gamma-Ray Astronomy (2006-2008)

Member, CanariCam Science Team (2005-present)

Member & Webmaster, American Astronomical Society Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Frequency Interference & Space Debris (2003-2006)

Current Courses

SPS 2010, SPS 4010, SPS 4020, SPS 5021, SPS 5011, SPS 5010, PHY 3060, PHY 2003, PHY 1001

Selected Publications


“Optical, Infrared and Optical Observations”, Chapter 6 in ”Extragalactic Jets,” ed. D. E. Harris, M.
Boettcher, H. Krawczynski, Wiley-VCH, 2012

“Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei”, in Stars & Stellar Systems, ed. W. Keel and T. Oswalt, Springer-Verlag, 2013

“Galactic Jets”, in “Hubble 2007: The Year In Review”, ed. R. Brown and C. Lallo, Space Telescope Science

Institute, 2007.


Meyer, E. T., Georganopoulous, M., Sparks, W. B., Perlman, E. S., van der Marel, R. P., Anderson, J., Sohn, S. T., Biretta, J., Norman, C., Chiaberge, M., “A kiloparsec-scale internal shock collision in the jet of a nearby radio galaxy”, 2015, Nature, 521, 495

Perlman, E. S., Clautice, D., Georganopoulos, M., Lister, M., Marshall, H. L., Hogan, B., Kazanas, D., “The Spectacular Radio-Near-IR-X-ray Jet of 3C 111,” 2015, Astrophysical Journal, submitted

Meyer, E. T., Georganopoulos, M., Sparks, W. B., Godfrey, L., Perlman, E. S., “Missing Gamma Rays from kpc-scale AGN Jets: The Case of PKS 0637-752”, 2015, Astrophysical Journal, 805, 154

Broderick, A. E., Narayan, R., Kormendy, J., Perlman, E. S., Rieke, M. J., Doeleman, S. S., “The Event Horizon of M87”, 2015, Astrophysical Journal, submitted, Astrophysical Journal, 805, 179

Mason, R. E., Rodriguez-Ardila, A., Martins, L., Riffel, R., Gonzalez Martin, O., Ramos Almeida, C., Ruschel Dutra, D., Ho, L. C., Thanjavur, K., Flohic, H., Alonso-Herrero, A., Lira, P., McDermid, R., Riffel, R. A., Schiavon, R. P., Winge, C., Hoenig, M. D., Perlman, E., “The Nuclear Near-Infrared Spectral Properties of Nearby Galaxies,” 2015, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 217, 13

Perlman, E. S., Rappaport, S. A., Christiansen, W. A., Ng, Y. J., DeVore, J., Pooley, D., “New Constraints on Quantum Gravity from X-ray and Gamma-Ray Observations”, 2015, Astrophysical Journal, 805, 10

Mori, T. I., Imanishi, M., Alonso-Herrero, A., Packham, C., Ramos Almeida, C., Nikutta, R., Gonzalez-Martin, O., Perlman, E. S., Saito, Y., Levenson, N. A., “Near-to-mid-infrared imaging and spectroscopy of two buried AGNs of the nearby merging galaxy NGC 6240 with Subaru/IRCS+AO and GTC/CanariCam”, 2015, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan, 66, 93

Lopez-Rodriguez, E., Packham, C., Tadhunter, C., Mason, R., Perlman, E., Alonso-Herrero, A., Ramos Almeida, C., Ichikawa, K.,Levenson, N. A., Rodriguez-Espinosa, J. M., Alvarez, C. A., Ramirez, E. A., Telesco, C.M., “Polarized Mid-Infrared Synchrotron Emission in the Core of Cygnus A”, 2014, Astrophysical Journal, 793, 81

Merlo, M., Perlman, E. S., Packham, C., Levenson, N. A., Radomski, J., Nikutta, R., Elitzur, M., Aretxaga, I., Imanishi, M., “Subaru Spectroscopy and Spectral Modeling of Cygnus A,” 2014, Astrophysical Journal, 788, 6.

Alonso-Herrero, A., Roche, P. F., Esquej, P., Gonzales-Martin, O., Pereira-Santaella, M., Ramos Almeida, C., Levenson, N. A., Packham, C., Asensio Ramos, A., Mason, R. E., Rodriguez-Espinosa, J. M., Alvares, C., Colina, L., Aretxaga, I., Diaz-Santos, T., Perlman, E., Telesco, C. M., “Uncovering the Deeply Embedded AGN Activity in the Nuclear Regions of the Interacting Galaxy Arp 299”, 2013, Astrophysicical Journal, 779, L14

Cara, M., Perlman, E. S., Uchiyama, Y., Cheung, C. C., Coppi, P. S., Georganopoulos, M., Worrall, D. M., Birkinshaw, M., Sparks, W. B., Marshall, H. L., Stawarz, L., Begelman, M. C., O’Dea, C. P., Baum, S. A., “Polarimetry and the High-Energy Emission Mechanisms in Quasar Jets: The Case of PKS 1136-135,” 2013, Astrophysical Journal, 773, 186

Koens, L. A., Maughan, B. J., Jones, L. R., Ebeling, H., Horner, D. J., Perlman, E. S., Philipps, S., Scharf, C.
A., “The WARPS Survey. VIII. Evolution of the Galaxy Cluster Luminosity Function,” 2013, Monthly
Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 435, 3231

Lopez-Rodriguez, E., Packham, C., Young, S., Elitzur, M., Levenson, N. A., Mason, R. E., Ramos Almeida,
C., Alonso-Herrero, A., Jones, T. J., Perlman, E., “Estimations of the Magnetic Field Strength in the Torus
of IC 5063 using Near-Infrared Polarimetry,” 2013, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 431,

Godfrey, L. E. H., Lovell, J. E. J., Burke-Spolaor, S., Ekers, R., Bicknell, G. V., Birkinshaw, M., Worrall-D.
M., Jauncey, D. L., Schwartz, D. A., Marshall, H. L., Gelbord, J., Perlman, E. S., Georganopoulos, M.,
“Periodic Structure in the Megaparsec-scale Jet of PKS 0637-752,” 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 758, L27

Dotson, A., Georganopoulos, M., Kazanas, D., Perlman, E. S., “A Method for Localizing Energy
Dissipation in Blazars Using Fermi Observations,” 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 758, L14

Wetzel, R. P., Perlman, E. S., “Multiband Polarimetry of the Jet in 3C 371,” 2012, Journal of the
Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy, 7, 45

Godfrey, L. E. H., Bicknell, G. V., Lovell, J. E. J., Jauncey, D. L., Gelbord, J., Schwartz, D. A., Perlman, E.
S., Marshall, H. L., Birkinshaw, M., Worrall, D. M., Georganopoulos, M., Murphy, D. W., “A Multi-
Wavelength Study of the Jet, Lobes and Core of the Quasar PKS 2101-490”, 2012, Astrophysical Journal,
755, 174

Abramowski, A., + Perlman, E. S., et al. (436 co-authors), “The 2010 Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Flare
and 10 Years of Multi-Wavelength Observations,” 2012, Astrophysical Journal, 746, 151

Perlman, E. S., Adams, C. A., Cara, M., Bourque, M., Cheung, C. C., Harris, D. E., Madrid, J., Massaro, F.,
Sparks, W. B., Biretta, J. A., “Polarization and Spectral Variability in the M87 Jet”, 2011, Astrophysical
Journal, 743, 119

Perlman, E. S., Ng, J. Y., Floyd, D. J. E., Christiansen, W. A., “Using Observations of Distant Quasars to
Constrain Quantum Gravity,” 2011, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 535, L9

Perlman, E. S., Georganopoulos, M., Marshall, H. L., Schwartz, D. A., Padgett, C. A., Gelbord, J., Lovell, J.
E. J., Worrall, D. M., Birkinshaw, M., Murphy, D. W., Jauncey, D. L., “Deep Multiwaveband Observations of
the Jets of PKS 0208-512 and PKS 1202-262”, 2011, Astrophysical Journal, 739, 65

Stocke, J. T., Danforth, C. A., Perlman, E. S., “Broad Ly Alpha Emission From Three Nearby BL Lacertae
Objects”, 2011, Astrophysical Journal, 732, 113

Christiansen, W. A., Floyd, D. J. E., Ng, Y. J., Perlman, E. S., “Limits on Spacetime Foam”, 2011, Physical
Review D-15, 83, 084003

Marshall, H. L., Gelbord, J. M., Schwartz, D. A., Murphy, D. W., Lovell, J. E. J., Worrall, D. M., Birkinshaw,
M., Perlman, E. S., Godfrey, L., Jauncey, D. L., “An X-ray Imaging Survey of Quasar Jets: Testing the
Inverse Compton Model”, 2011, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 193, 15

Batcheldor, D., Robinson, A., Axon, D. J., Perlman, E. S., Merritt, D., “A Displaced Supermassive Black
Hole in M87,” 2010, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 717, L6

Marshall, H. L., Hardcastle, M. J., Birkinshaw, M., Croston, J., Evans, D., Landt, H., Lenc, E., Massaro, F.,
Perlman, E. S., Schwartz, D. A., Siemiginowska, A., Stawarz, L,. Urry, C. M., Worrall, D. M., “A Flare in the
Jet of Pictor A”, 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 714, L213

Willett, K. W., Stocke, J. T., Darling, J., Perlman, E. S., “Spitzer Mid-Infrared Spectroscopy of Compact
Symmetric Objects: What Powers Radio-Loud Active Galactic Nuclei?”, 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 713,

Floyd, D. J. E., Axon, D., Baum, S., Capetti, A., Chiaberge, M., Madrid, J., O’Dea, C. P., Perlman, E. S.,
Sparks, W. B., “Hubble Space Telescope Near-Infrared Snapshot survey of 3CR Radio Source Counterparts:
Radio Galaxies and Quasars in Context”, 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 713, 66

Perlman, E. S., Padgett, C. A., Georganopoulos, M,. Worrall D. M, Kastner, J. H., Franz, G., Birkinshaw,
M., Dulwich, F., O’Dea, C. P., Baum, S. A., Sparks, W. B., Biretta, J. A., Lara, L., Jester, S., Martel, A., “A
Multi-Wavelength Spectral and Polarimetric Study of the Jet of 3C 264,” 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 708,

Perlman, E. S., Georganopoulos, M., May, E. M., Kazanas, D., “Chandra Observations of the Radio Galaxy
3C 445 and the Hot Spot X-ray Emission Mechanism,” 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 708, 1

Dulwich, F., Worrall, D. M., Birkinshaw, M., Padgett, C. A., Perlman, E. S., “The Magnetic Field and
Geometry of the Oblique Shock in the Jet of 3C 346”, 2009, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical
Society, 398, 1207

Tremblay, G. R., Chiaberge, M., Sparks, W. B., Baum, S. A., Allen, M. G., Axon, D. J., Capetti, A., Floyd, D.
J. E., Macchetto, F. D., Miley, G. K., Noel-Storr J., O’Dea, C. P., Perlman, E. S., Quillen, A. C., “HST/ACS
Emission Line Imaging of Low-redshift 3CR Radio Galaxies. I. The Data”, 2009, Astrophysical Journal
Supplements, 183, 278

Harris, D. E., Cheung C. C., Stawarz, L., Biretta, J. A., Perlman, E. S., “Variability Timescales in the M87
Jet: Signatures of E2 Losses, Discovery of a Quasi Period in HST-1 and the Site of TeV Flaring”, 2009,
Astrophysical Journal, 699, 305

Godfrey, L. E. H., Bicknell, G. V., Lovell, J. E. J., Jauncey, D. L., Gelbord, J. Schwartz, D. A., Marshall, H.
L., Birkinshaw, M., Georganopoulos, M., Murphy, D. W., Perlman, E. S., Worrall, D. W., “A
Multiwavelength Study of the High Surface Brightness Hot Spot in PKS 1421-490”, 2009, Astrophysical
Journal, 695, 707

Mehta, K. T., et al., Hubble Space Telescope Observations of the Quasar PKS 0637-752: Equipartition Electron-Proton Jet from the Most Complete Spectral Coverage to Date, 2009, Astrophysical Journal, 690, 1706

Graff, P. B., et al., 2008, A Multizone Model for Simulating the High-Energy Variability of TeV Blazars, 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 689, 68

Horner, D. J., Perlman, E. S., et al., The WARPS Survey. VII. The WARPS-II Cluster Catalog, 2008, Astrophysical Journal Supplements, 176, 374

Perlman, E. S., et al., The Mid-IR Emission of M87, 2007, Astrophysical Journal, 663, 808

Georganopoulos, M., Perlman, E. S., Kazanas, D., McEnery, J., "Quasar X-ray jets: Gamma-ray diagnostics of the synchrotron and inverse-Compton hypotheses, the case of 3C 273, 2006, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 653, L5

Perlman, E. S., et al., Optical Polarimetry of the Jets of Nearby Radio Galaxies: I. The Data, 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 651, 735

Harris, D. E., et al., The Outburst of Knot HST-1 in the M87 Jet, 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 640, 211

Landt, H., Perlman, E. S., Padovani, P., "VLA Observations of a New Population of Blazars," 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 637, 183

Georganopoulos, M., Perlman, E. S., Kazanas, D., Is the Core of M87 the Source of the TeV Emission?, 2005, Astrophysical Joural Letters, 634, L33

Perlman, E. S. & Wilson, A. S., The X-ray Emissions From the Jet of M87: Diagnostics and Physical Interpretation, 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 627, 140

Perlman, E. S., et al., Intrinsic Curvature in the X-ray Spectra of BL Lac Objects, 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 625, 727

Georganopoulos, M., Perlman, E. S., Kazanas, D., Stecker, F. W., Bulk Comptonization of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Extragalactic Jets as a Probe of their Matter Content, 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 625, 656.

Padovani, P., et al., What Kinds of Jets Does Nature Make: A New Population of Radio Quasars, 2003, Astrophysical Journal, 588, 128.

Perlman, E. S., et al., The WARPS Survey: VI. Galaxy Cluster and Source Identifications from Phase I, 2002, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 140, 265.

Perlman, E. S., et al., Host Galaxies, Obscuration and Nuclear Structure of The Youngest Radio Galaxies, 2001, Astronomical Journal, 122, 536.

Perlman, E. S., et al., The Optical to Near-Infrared Spectrum of the M87 Jet from HST Observations, 2001, Astrophysical Journal, 551, 206.

Carilli, C. L., et al., Astronomical Constraints on the Cosmic Evolution of the Fine Structure Constant and Possible Quantum Dimensions, 2000, Physical Review Letters, 85, 5511.

Rector, T. A., et al., The Properties of the X-ray Selected EMSS Sample of BL Lac Objects, 2000, Astronomical Journal, 120, 1626.

Fairley, B. W., et al., The WARPS Survey - IV: The X-ray Luminosity Temperature Relation of High Redshift Galaxy Clusters," 2000, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 315, 669.

Perlman, E. S., et al., Optical and Radio Polarimetry of the M87 Jet at 0.2 Resolution, 1999, Astronomical Journal, 117, 2185.

Stocke, J. T., Perlman, E. S., Gioia, I. M., & Harvanek, M., The Evolution of Cluster Radio Galaxies from z=0 to z=0.8, 1999, Astronomical Journal, 117, 1967.

Rector, T. A., Stocke, J. T., Perlman, E. S, A Search for Low-Luminosity BL Lacertae Objects, 1999, Astrophysical Journal, 516, 145.

Perlman, E. S., et al. The Deep X-ray Radio Blazar Survey (DXRBS): I. Methods and First Results, 1998, Astronomical Journal 115, 1253.

Jones, L., et al., The WARPS Survey -- II. Log N - Log S relation and the X-ray Evolution of Low-Luminosity Clusters of Galaxies, 1998, Astrophysical Journal, 495, 100.

Scharf, C. S., et al., The WARPS X-ray Survey for Clusters, and Groups of Galaxies -- I. Methods and First Results, 1997, Astrophysical Journal, 477, 79.

Kazanas, D. & Perlman, E. S., Low-State Gamma-Ray Emission From Blazars and the Gamma-Ray Background, 1997, Astrophysical Journal, 476, 7.


My research spans several areas of astrophysics, and my contributions in each have been strong, well cited and diverse. His main area of expertise is in the field of high-energy astrophysics, specifically the physics of active galaxies, where I have made important contributions to our knowledge of jets, the high-energy, relativistic flows that emerge from the central regions of the most powerful AGN. I have made critical contributions to the physical processes responsible for their emission, their response to stimuli and variability, and also made available a database of these objects on the WWW. I have in the process received over $2,000,000 in grants, including two 5-year NASA Long-Term Space Astrophysics Program grant, a 3-year NSF grant, and multiple smaller grants for observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray

Observatory. I have also done ground-breaking work on cosmology, including work at the very edge of physics and astrophysics, laying out the geometry and framework for tests of quantum gravity using astronomical observations of the most distant quasars, and on the distribution of clusters of galaxies in the local and distant universe. I have parlayed these important accomplishments into two large chapters in graduate-level textbooks on extragalactic astrophysics, published during the last two years.

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