Rocket Scientist, Astrophysicist,
Cool Dude.

My Dad looking at HEXTE
Science!

My Dad began his career in astrophysics when he went to Goddard Space Flight Center as a National Academy of Science/National Research Council postdoctoral fellow. He joined the X-ray astronomy group and was assigned to be the instrument scientist for the sounding rocket program. This meant a rocket flight from White Sands Missle Range in about 9 months to view two black holes and a neutron star. This flrst flight led to the discovery of never before seen X-ray bursts lasting a millisecond from one of the black holes and evidence for a very high magnetic field of the neutron star. A second flight a year later confirmed the bursts, and made the first detection of iron atoms in the vicinity of the other black hole system. With many instruments being built in the X-ray group at that time, he was assigned as instrument scientist and co-Investigator for the Goddard X-ray detectors to be flown in late 1970’s on the first High Energy Astrophysical Observatory satellite (HEAO-1). Before its launch, he and his wife Marcy relocated to San Diego and he joined the X-ray and Gamma Ray group at UCSD. There he led the analysis of X-ray observations from an earlier UCSD X-ray instrument on OSO-7 satellite as well as that from the UCSD instrument on HEAO-1.

X-Ray Astronomy

Through all of this time, my Dad became very interested in developing a new instrument under his own direction. The opportunity arose in the early 1980’s to propose an instrument for the future X-ray Timing Explorer (XTE). He, along with teams from Goddard and MIT were selected for that mission. The XTE mission went through several iterations due to NASA funding variations and the Challenger explosion, but was finally launched on December 30, 1995. The observatory, now renamed the Bruno Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer or RXTE, went on to have 16 years of observations of hundreds of objects in the sky giving off X-rays. This included black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, quasars, supernova remnants, and other exotic objects.

What's he up to now?

Recently, he’s began applying his expertise to humanitarian demining; and the detection/monitoring of radionuclides at a distance.

Photos of my Pop.

While the RXTE mission was continuing, my Dad became involved in trying to develop a new kind of X-ray telescope that would allow one to make images or pictures of large portions of the sky containing many objects giving off X-rays at higher energies. This utilized the concept of a pinhole camera, but with many, many holes strategically placed in front of a detector that could register where on the detector the X-ray hit, much like CCD cameras do in your smart phones. While very promising, NASA eventually chose to support a similar but much better detector system developed at Caltech.

With my Dad’s experience in developing X-ray detectors and entire telescope missions, he served on a variety of NASA teams for review of and development of future missions. This included the next large NASA X-ray astronomy mission that began as a fleet of four telescopes that would simultaneously view the same object, and evolved into one large observatory that now is in the advanced concept stage called the X-ray Surveyor. My Dad has assisted NASA in reviewing proposals for viewing of specific sources of X-rays by the world’s in-orbit X-ray observatories, proposals for developing new instrumentation, and proposals for full missions. He also peer reviews scientific papers submitted by other scientists to the world’s astrophysical scientific journals.

  • Research Experience

    • 1984-Present: Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1981-1984: Associate Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1977-1981: Assistant Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1975-1977: Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
    • 1972-1975: NAS/NRC Resident Research Associate, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
    • 1971-1972: Research Associate, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • 1966-1971: Graduate Research Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • 1965-1966: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
MY POP

When not pursuing science, he has been a dedicated soccer player for over 50 years, not counting 3 years in college, and is presently playing in a league made up of players over 62 years old. He also discovered rowing instead of having a mid-life crisis, and rows a few days a month. He did row once in the San Diego Crew Classic and let’s just say they finished the race! He and Marcy are totally dedicated to us and our kids, and visit us multiple times per year.

  • Important Publications

    1. Rothschild, R.E., Bowen, T., Caldwell, P.K., Davidson, D., Jenkins, E.W., Kalbach, R.M., Peterson, D.V., and Pifer, A.E., “Π ±-Proton Elastic Scattering at 180◦ form 0.60 to 1.60 GeV/c”, Phys. Rev. D, 5, 499–505 (1972)
    2. Rothschild, R.E., Boldt, E.A., Holt, S.S., and Serlemitsos, P.J., “Millisecond Temporal Structure in Cygnus X–1”, ApJL, 189, L13–L16 (1974)
    3. Boldt, E.A., Holt, S.S., Rothschild, R.E., and Serlemitsos, P.J., “The Her X–1 Spectrum: A Measure of the Field Near the Magnetic Poles of a Neutron Star”, A&A, 50, 161–163 (1976)
    4. Rothschild, R.E., Boldt, E.A., Holt, S.S., and Serlemitsos, P.J., “Submillisecond Measurment of the Low State of Cygnus X–1”, ApJL, 213, L818–L826 (1977)
    5. Rothschild, R.E., Boldt, E.A., Holt, S.S., Serlemitsos, P.J., Garmire, G., Agrawal, P., Riegler, R., Bowyer, S., and Lampton, M., “The Cosmic X-Ray Experiment Aboard HEAO–1”, Space Science Instrumentation, 4, 269–301 (1979).
    6. Marshall, F.E., Boldt, E.A., Holt, S.S., Miller, R., Mushotzky, R.F., Rose, L.A., Rothschild, R.E., and Serlemitsos, P.J., “The Diffuse X-Ray Background Spectrum from 3 to 50 keV”, ApJ, 235, 4–10 (1979).
    7. Rothschild, R.E., Gruber, D.E., Knight, F.K., Nolan, P.L., Soong, Y., Levine, A.M., Primini, F.A., Wheaton, W.A., and Lewin, W.H.G., “A High Sensitivity Determination of the Hard X-Ray Spectrum of Sco X–1”, Nature, 286 786–787 (1980).
    8. Rothschild, R.E., Baity, W.A., Marscher, A.P., and Wheaton, W.A., “Non-Thermal Hard X-Ray Emission from the Nucleus of NGC 1275”, ApJL, 243, L9–L12 (1981).
    9. Rothschild, R.E., Gruber, D.E., Knight, F.K., Matteson, J.L., Nolan, P.L., Swank, J.H., Holt, S.S., Serlemitsos, P.J., Mason, K.O., and Touhey, I.R., “The X-Ray Spectrum of AM Her from 0.1–150 keV”, ApJ, 250, 723–732 (1981).
    10. Rothschild, R.E., Mushotzky, R.F., Baity, W.A., Gruber, D.E., and Matteson, J.L., “2–165 keV Observations of Active Galaxies and the Diffuse Background”, ApJ, 269, 423–438 (1983).
    11. Gruber, D.E., and Rothschild, R.E., “SMC X–1 Variability Observed from HEAO–1”, ApJ, 283, 546–551 (1984).
    12. Levine, A.M., Lang, F.L., Lewin, W.H.G., Primini, F.A., Dobson, C.A., Doty, J.P., Hoffman, J.A., Howe, S.K., Scheepmaker, A., Wheaton, W.A., Matteson, J.L., Baity, W.A., Gruber, D.E., Knight, F.K., Nolan, P.L., Pelling, R.M., Rothschild, R.E., and Peterson, L.E., “The HEAO-1 A4 Catalog of High-Energy X-Ray Sources”, ApJS, 54, 581–617 (1984).
    13. Rothschild, R.E., and Lingenfelter, R.E., “A 164-Day Period in Gamma-Ray Bursts from GBS0526–66?”, Nature, 312, 737–739 (1984).
    14. Soong, Y., Gruber, D.E., and Rothschild, R.E., “A Rapid Change of the Her X-1 Pulse Profile and High State Duration”, ApJL, 319, L77–L81 (1987).
    15. Rothschild, R.E., Kulkarni, S.R., and Lingenfelter, R.E., “Discovery of an X-ray Source Coincident with the Soft -ray Repeater 0525–66” Nature, 368, 432–434 (1994).
    16. Marsden, D., Rothschild, R.E., Lingenfelter, R.E., and Puetter, R.C., “ROSAT Observations of the Soft Gamma Ray Burst Error Box Coincident with the Supernova Remnant N49”,
      ApJ, 470, 513–519 (1996).
    17. Rothschild, R.E., Blanco, P.R., Gruber, D.E., Heindl, W.A., MacDonald, M.R., Marsden, D.C., Pelling, M.R., Wayne, L.R., and Hink, P.L., “In-Flight Performance of the High Energy X-Ray Timing Experiment on the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer”, ApJ, 496, 538–549 (1998).
    18. Wayne, L.R., Heindl, W.A., Hink, P.L., and Rothschild, R.E., “Response of NaI(Tl) to XRays and Electrons”, Nucl. Inst. & Meth. in Phys. Res. A, 411, 351–364 (1998).
    19. Marsden, D., Lingenfelter, R.E., Rothschild, R.E., and Higdon, J.C., “Nature vs. Nurture: The Origin of Soft Gamma-Ray Repeaters and Anomalous X-Ray Pulsars”, ApJ, 550, 397–409 (2001).
    20. D’Amico, F., Heindl, W.A., Rothschild, R.E., and Gruber, D.E., “High-Energy X-Ray Timing Experiment Detections of Hard X-Ray Tails in Scorpius X–1”, ApJL, 547, L147–L150 (2001).
    21. Rothschild, R.E., and Lingenfelter, R.E., “Limits to the Cassiopeia A 44Ti Line Flux and Constraints on the Ejecta Energy and the Compact Source”, ApJ, 582, 257–261 (2003).
    22. Rothschild, R.E., Heindl, W.A., Matteson, J.L., and Pelling, M.R., “Design and Performance of a Ruggedized Large-Area CZT Detector Module for Hard X-ray Astronomy”, NIMP, 505.
      126–129 (2003).
    23. Higdon, J.C., Lingenfelter, R.E., and Rothschild, R.E., “The Galactic 26Al Problem and the Close Binary Type Ib/c Supernova Solution?”, ApJ, 611, L29–L32 (2004).
    24. Rothschild, R.E., Lingenfelter, R.E., and Higdon, J.C., “The Challenge to Understanding 26Al Emission from OB Associations”, New Astron. Rev., 50, 477–480 (2006).
    25. Sch¨onherr, G., Wilms, J., Kretschmar, P., Kreykenbohm, I., Santangelo, A., Rothschild, R. E., Coburn, W., and Staubert, R., “A model for cyclotron resonance scattering features”, A&A, 472, 353–365 (2007).
    26. Thompson, T.W. J., Galloway, D. K., Rothschild, R. E., and Homer, L., “Deviations from the Flux-Recurrence Time Relationship in GS 1826-238: Potential Transient Spectral Changes”, ApJ, 681, 506–514 (2008).
    27. F¨urst, F., Wilms, J., Rothschild, R. E., Pottschmidt, K., Smith, D. M., and Lingenfelter, R., “Temporal variations of strength and location of the South Atlantic Anomaly as measured by RXTE”, E&PSL, 281, 125–133 (2009).
    28. Higdon, J. C., Lingenfelter, R. E., and Rothschild, R. E., “The Galactic Positron Annihilation Radiation and the Propagation of Positrons in the Interstellar Medium”, ApJ, 698, 350–379 (2009).
    29. Lingenfelter, R. E., Higdon, J. C., and Rothschild, R. E., “Is There a Dark Matter Signal in the Galactic Positron Annihilation Radiation?”, PhRvL, 103.031301 (2009).
    30. Rivers, E., Markowitz, A., and Rothschild, R., “Spectral Survey of X-ray Bright Active Galactic Nuclei from the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer”, ApJS, 193, 3–34 (2011).
    31. Rothschild, R. E., Markowitz, A., Rivers, E., Suchy, S., Pottschmidt, K., Kadler, M., Mller, C., and Wilms, J., “Twelve and a Half Years of Observations of Centaurus A with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer”, ApJ, 733, 23–41 (2011).
    32. Rivers, E., Markowitz, A., and Rothschild, R., “An Occultation Event in Centaurus A and the Clumpy Torus Model”, ApJL, 742, L29–L33, (2011).
    33. Rothschild, R., Markowitz, A., Hemphill, P., Caballero, I., Pottschmidt, K., K¨uhnel, M., Wilms, J., F¨urst, F., Doroshenko, V., and Camero-Arranz, A., “Observations of the Highmass X-Ray Binary A 0535+26 in Quiescence”, ApJ, 770, 19–16 (2013).
    34. Rivers, E., Markowitz, A., and Rothschild, R., “Full Spectral Survey of Active Galactic Nuclei in the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer Archive”, ApJ, 772, 114–131 (2013).
    35. Hemphill, P. B., Rothschild, R. E., Markowitz, A., F¨urst, F., Pottschmidt, K., and Wilms, J., “A Clumpy Stellar Wind and Luminosity-dependent Cyclotron Line Revealed by the First Suzaku Observation of the High-mass X-Ray Binary 4U 1538-522”, ApJ, 792, 14–38 (2014).
    36. Hemphill, P. B., Rothschild, R.E., F¨urst, F., Grinberg, V., Klochkov, D., Kretschmar,P.;,Pottschmidt, K., Staubert, R., and Wilms, J., “Evidence for an evolving cyclotron line energy in 4U 1538-522”, MNRAS, 458, 2745-2761 (2016).
    37. Rothschild, R. E., K¨uhnel, M., Pottschmidt, K., Hemphill, P., Postnov, K., Gornostaev, M., Shakura, N., F¨urst, F., Wilms, J., Staubert, R., and Klochkov, D., “Discovery and modeling of a flattening of the positive cyclotron line/luminosity relation in GX 304-1 with RXTE”, MNRAS, 466, 2752-2779 (2017).
  • Research Experience

    • 1984-Present: Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1981-1984: Associate Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1977-1981: Assistant Research Physicist, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
    • 1975-1977: Astrophysicist, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
    • 1972-1975: NAS/NRC Resident Research Associate, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
    • 1971-1972: Research Associate, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • 1966-1971: Graduate Research Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
    • 1965-1966: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ