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Associate Professor in the Department of Physicsph303 
Member of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation  

Biography

Research Interests (Astronomy)

My research focuses on the study of interacting binaries. These are systems that are comprised a compact object (Black Hole, Neutron Star or White Dwarf) in a close binary orbit with a (usually) less evolved star. I use the variability of the light emitted from such sources to probe the different components of the binary (the donor star, accretion disk, compact object and out-flowing jet). This involves observing the sources at a number of wavelengths to probe the different regions. These include X-rays (RXTE, SWIFT and XMM), Optical/UV (VLT, Keck, WHT, Palomar 200-inch and HST) and Infra-red (VLT) observations. I combine these observations to indirectly image the systems in order to better understand the interactions of light and matter in these extreme physical environments.

Research Interests (Instrumentation)

My research focuses on the development of instrumenation based around Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs). These are superconducting detectors that are capable of measuring the arrival time of individual optical/near-IR photons to ~1microsecond and simultaneously measuring their energy to ~5-10%. I am working with teams in Europe and the US to develop uniquely powerful instruments based around arrays of 1000's of such devices.

Research interests

  • Centre for Advanced Instrumentation

Research groups

Publications

Conference Paper

Journal Article

Other (Print)

  • Allen, Jamie R., O'Brien, Kieran, Lynn, James D., Thatte, Niranjan A., Tosh, Ian A. J. & Tacon, Mike (2016). Characterizing the performance of cryogenic lens mounts for the HARMONI spectograph. 9912.
  • Güver, Tolga, Mazin, Benjamin A., O'Brien, Kieran, Kay, Burak, Alis, Sinan, Yelkenci, F. Korhan, Yesilyaprak, Cahit, Yerli, Sinan K., Erol, Ayse. & Keskin, Onur (2016). A microwave kinetic inductance detector for the DAG telescope. 9915.
  • Thatte, Niranjan A., Clarke, Fraser, Bryson, Ian, Shnetler, Hermine, Tecza, Matthias, Fusco, Thierry, Bacon, Roland M., Richard, Johan, Mediavilla, Evencio, Neichel, Benoît, Arribas, Santiago, Garcia-Lorenzo, Begoña., Evans, Christopher J., Remillieux, Alban, El Madi, Kacem, Herreros, Jose Miguel, Melotte, Dave, O'Brien, Kieran, Tosh, Ian A., Vernet, Joël., Hammersley, Peter, Ives, Derek J., Finger, Gert, Houghton, Ryan, Rigopoulou, Dimitra, Lynn, James D., Allen, Jamie R., Zieleniewski, Simon D., Kendrew, Sarah, Ferraro-Wood, Vanessa, Pécontal-Rousset, Arlette, Kosmalski, Johan, Laurent, Florence, Loupias, Magali, Piqueras, Laure, Renault, Edgar, Blaizot, Jeremy, Daguisé, Eric, Migniau, Jean-Emmanuel, Jarno, Aurélien, Born, Andy, Gallie, Angus M., Montgomery, David M., Henry, David, Schwartz, Noah, Taylor, William, Zins, Gérard, Rodríguez-Ramos, Luis Fernando, Cagigas, Miguel, Battaglia, Giuseppina, Rebolo López, Refael, Hernández Suárez, Elvio, Gigante-Ripoll, José Vicente, Piqueras López, Javier, Villa Martin, Montserrat, Correia, Carlos, Pascal, Sandrine, Blanco, Leonardo, Vola, Pascal, Epinat, Benoit, Peroux, Celine, Vigan, Arthur, Dohlen, Kjetil, Sauvage, Jean-Francois, Lee, Martin, Carlotti, Alexis, Verinaud, Christophe, Morris, Tim, Myers, Richard, Reeves, Andrew, Swinbank, Mark, Calcines, Ariadna & Larrieu, Marrie (2016). The E-ELT first light spectrograph HARMONI: capabilities and modes. 9908.
  • Kendrew, Sarah, Zieleniewski, Simon, Houghton, Ryan C. W., Thatte, Niranjan, Devriendt, Julien, Tecza, Matthias, Clarke, Fraser, O'Brien, Kieran & Häußler, Boris (2016). Simulated observations of high-redshift galaxies with the HARMONI spectrograph for the European Extremely Large Telescope. 9908.
  • Mazin, Benjamin A., Becker, George, France, Kevin, Fraser, Wesley, Howell, D. Andrew, Jones, Tucker, Meeker, Seth, O'Brien, Kieran, Prochaska, Jason X., Siana, Brian, Strader, Matthew, Szypryt, Paul, Tendulkar, Shriharsh P., Treu, Tommaso & Vasisht, Gautam (2015). Science with KRAKENS. 1506.
  • Kalamkar, M., Casella, P., O'Brien, K., Uttley, P. & Maccarone, T. (2015). Fast multi-wavelength broad-band and QPO variability in a black hole X-ray binary: accretion flow and/or a jet origin?
  • O'Brien, Kieran, Allen, Jamie R., Lynn, James D., Thatte, Niranjan A., Bryson, Ian, Clarke, Fraser, Schnetler, Hermine & Tecza, Matthias (2014). The spectrograph units for the HARMONI integral field spectrograph. 9147.
  • O'Brien, Kieran, Thatte, Niranjan & Mazin, Benjamin (2014). KIDSpec: an MKID based medium resolution integral field spectrograph. 9147.
  • Thatte, Niranjan A., Clarke, Fraser, Bryson, Ian, Schnetler, Hermine, Tecza, Matthias, Bacon, Roland M., Remillieux, Alban, Mediavilla, Evencio, Herreros Linares, José Miguel, Arribas, Santiago, Evans, Christopher J., Lunney, David W., Fusco, Thierry, O'Brien, Kieran, Tosh, Ian A., Ives, Derek J., Finger, Gert, Houghton, Ryan, Davies, Roger L., Lynn, James D., Allen, Jamie R., Zieleniewski, Simon D., Kendrew, Sarah, Ferraro-Wood, Vanessa, Pécontal-Rousset, Arlette, Kosmalski, Johan, Richard, Johan, Jarno, Aurelien, Gallie, Angus M., Montgomery, David M., Henry, David, Zins, Gérard, Freeman, David, García-Lorenzo, Begona, Rodríguez-Ramos, Luis F., Revuelta, Jorge S. C., Hernandez Suarez, Elvio, Bueno-Bueno, Alberto, Gigante-Ripoll, José Vincente, Garcia, Adolfo, Dohlen, Kjetil & Neichel, Benoît. (2014). HARMONI: the first light integral field spectrograph for the E-ELT. 9147.
  • Allen, Jamie R., O'Brien, Kieran, Lynn, James D., Thatte, Niranjan A., Bryson, Ian, Clarke, Fraser, Schnetler, Hermine & Tecza, Matthias (2014). Cryogenic testing of components for the HARMONI spectrograph. 9147.
  • Plant, D. S., O'Brien, K. & Fender, R. P. (2014). Simultaneous independent measurements of a truncated inner accretion disc in the low/hard state of GX 399$-$4. 1411.
  • Kendrew, S., Zieleniewski, S., Thatte, N., Devriendt, J., Houghton, R., Fusco, T., Tecza, M., Clarke, F. & O'Brien, Kieran (2014). Integral field spectroscopy of high redshift galaxies with the HARMONI spectrograph on the European Extremely Large Telescope. 9147.
  • Clarke, Fraser, Thatte, Niranjan, Tecza, Matthias, O'Brien, Kieran, Houghton, Ryan, Tiee, Dan, Fletcher, Leigh, Irwin, Pat, Verma, Aprajita, Dekany, Richard, Rick, Burruss, Roberts, Jenny & Fini, Luca (2013). High resolution in three dimensions with SWIFT and PALM3K.
  • Mazin, Benjamin A., O'Brien, K., Bumble, B., Strader, M., Meeker, S., Stoughton, C., Marsden, D., Walter, A., Szypyrt, P. & Ulbricht, G. (2013). Preliminary Results from the Array Camera for Optical to Near-IR Spectrophotometry (ARCONS). 221.
  • O'Brien, Kieran, Mazin, Ben, McHugh, Sean, Meeker, Seth, Bumble, Bruce, Hanisch, Robert & Seaman, Rob (2012). ARCONS: a Highly Multiplexed Superconducting UV-to-Near-IR Camera. 285: 385-388.
  • Meeker, Seth, Mazin, B. A., O'Brien, K., McHugh, S., Bumble, B., Langman, E. & Navaroli, M. (2012). First Optical Observations with Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors. 219.
  • O'Brien, Kieran, Mazin, Ben, McHugh, Sean, Meeker, Seth, Marsden, Danica & Bumble, Bruce (2012). ARCONS: a 1024 pixel superconducting integral field spectrograph. 8446.
  • Mazin, Benjamin A., Marsden, Danica & O'Brien, Kieran (2012). SuperMOS: a new class of low resolution multiobject spectrographs. 8446.
  • Marsden, Danica, Mazin, Benjamin A., Bumble, Bruce, Meeker, Seth, O'Brien, Kieran, McHugh, Sean, Strader, Matthew & Langman, Eric (2012). Optical lumped element microwave kinetic inductance detectors. 8453.
  • Casella, Piergiorgio, Maccarone, Thomas J. & O'Brien, Kieran (2011). Fast multiwavelength variability from jets in X-ray binaries. 1104.
  • Casella, P., Maccarone, T. & O'Brien, K. (2010). Fast multiwavelength variability from jets in X-ray binaries.
  • Mazin, Benjamin A., O'Brien, Kieran, McHugh, Sean, Bumble, Bruce, Moore, David, Golwala, Sunil & Zmuidzinas, Jonas (2010). ARCHONS: a highly multiplexed superconducting optical to near-IR camera. 7735.
  • Britt, Christopher T., Hynes, R. I., Mikles, V., Robinson, E. & O'Brien, K. (2010). Echo-mapping of Scorpius X-1. 11: 727.
  • Munoz-Darias, T., Martinez-Pais, I. G., Casares, J., O'Brien, K., Cornelisse, R., Dhillon, V. S., March, T. R., Steeghs, D., Charle, P. A. & Still, M. (2010). Mapping LMXBs with reprocessed X-ray bursts.
  • Casella, Piergiorgio, Maccarone, T., O'Brien, K., Fender, R., Russell, D., van der Klis, M., Pe'er, A., Maitra, D., Altamirano, D., Belloni, T., Kanbach, G., Klein-Wolt, M., Mason, E., Migliari, S., Soleri, P., Stefanescu, A., Wiersema, K. & Wijnands, R. (2010). Fast Multiwavelength Variability from Jets in X-ray Binaries, a New Powerful Tool. 11: 734.
  • Cornelisse, R., Casares, J., Steeghs, D., Charles, P., Barnes, A., Hynes, R., O'Brien, K. & Muñoz-Darias, T. (2010). The Bowen Survey; detecting donor star signatures in low mass X-ray binaries.
  • Nelemans, G., Wood, M., Groot, P., Anderson, S., Belczynski, K., Benacquista, M., Charles, P., Cumming, A., Deloye, C., Jonker, P., Kalogera, V., Knigge, C., Marsh, T., Motl, P., Napiwotzki, R., O'Brien, K., Phinney, E.S., Ramsay, G., Shahbaz, T., Solheim, J.-E., Steeghs, D., van der Sluys, M., Verbunt, F., Warner, B., Werner, K., Wu, K. & Yungelson, L.R. (2009). The astrophysics of ultra-compact binaries. 2010.
  • Shahbaz, T., Fender, R. P., Watson, C. A. & O'Brien, K. (2009). Polarimetric signatures of infrared jets in X-ray binaries. 36: CD355-CD357.
  • Shahbaz, T., Fender, R. P., Watson, C. A., O'Brien, K., Wachter, Stefanie, Gelino, Dawn & Gelino, Christopher R. (2008). Polarimetric Signatures of Infrared Jets in X-ray Binaries. 1010: 100-102.
  • Muñoz-Darias, T., Martínee-Pails, I. G., Casares, J., Cornelisse, R., Dhillon, V. S., Marsh, T. R., Steeghs, D., O'Brien, K., Charles, P. A., Still, M., Wachter, Stefanie, Gelino, Dawn & Gelino, Christopher R. (2008). Bowen Blend Echo-Tomography of Sco X-l and V801 Ara. 1010: 207-209.
  • Muñoz-Darias, Teo, Martinez-Pais, Ignacio G., Casares, Jorge, Dhillon, Vik, Marsh, Tom, Steeghs, Danny, O'Brien, Kieran, Charles, Phil, Still, Martin & Cornelisse, Remon (2008). Bowen Blend Echo-tomography of Neutron Star LMXBs. 37: 2138.
  • Cornelisse, Remon, Casares, Jorge, Muñoz-Darias, Teo, Steeghs, Danny, Charles, Phil, Hynes, Rob, O'Brien, Kieran, Barnes, Andrew, Wachter, Stefanie, Gelino, Dawn & Gelino, Christopher R. (2008). An Overview of the Bowen Survey: Detecting Donor Star Signatures in Low Mass X-ray Binaries. 1010: 148-152.
  • Schmidtobreick, L., Bagnulo, S., Jehin, E., Marconi, G., O'Brien, K., Pompei, E., Saviane, I. & Kerber, Florian (2008). IOT Overview: Optical Multi-Object Spectrographs. 75.
  • O'Brien, Kieran, Leahy, Denis A. & Hobill, David W. (2008). Fast Spectroscopy and Imaging with the FORS2 HIT Mode. 351: 187.
  • Foellmi, C., Dall, T., Pritchard, J., Allende Prieto, C., Bruntt, H., Amado, P. J., Arentoft, T., Baes, M., Depagne, E., Fernandez, M., Ivanov, V. D., Koesterke, L., Monaco, L., O'Brien, K., Sarro, L. M., Saviane, I., Scharwaechter, J., Schmidtobreick, L., Schütz, O., Seifahrt, A., Selman, F., Stefanon, M., Sterzik, M. & Osuna, P. (2008). The Variable Star One-shot Project, and its little child: Wikimbad. 15.
  • Dhillon, V. S., Marsh, T. R., Copperwheat, C., Bezawada, N., Ives, Derek, Vick, Andy, O'Brien, K., Ryan, Oliver & Shearer, Andrew (2008). ULTRASPEC: High-speed spectroscopy with zero readout noise. 984: 132-139.
  • Mason, Elena, Israel, Gian Luca, O'Brien, Kieran, Ryan, Oliver & Shearer, Andrew (2008). FORS2 HIT Mode: Phase Resolved Spectroscopy of RXJ0806.3+1527. 984: 278-281.
  • Hynes, Robert I., Robinson, Edward L., Bayless, Amanda, O'Brien, Kieran, Wachter, Stefanie, Gelino, Dawn & Gelino, Christopher R. (2008). Echo Tomography of Cygnus X-2. 1010: 198-200.
  • Muñoz-Darias, T., Martínez-Pais, I. G., Casares, J., Cornelisse, R., Dhillon, V. S., Marsh, T. R., Steeghs, D., O'Brien, K., Charles, P. A., Still, M., Ryan, Oliver & Shearer, Andrew (2008). Bowen blend echo-tomography of low mass X-ray binaries. 984: 15-22.
  • Freudling, W., Møller, P., Patat, F., Moehler, S., Romaniello, M., Jehin, E., O'Brien, K., Izzo, C., Pompei, E. & Kerber, Florian (2008). Photometry with FORS. 35.
  • Walsh, J. R., Kuntschner, H., Jehin, E., Kaufer, A., O'Brien, K., Riquelme, M., Smette, A. & Kerber, Florian (2008). Modelling the Fringing of the FORS2 CCD. 63.
  • Freudling, W., Romaniello, M., Patat, F., Møller, P., Jehin, E. & O'Brien, K. (2007). Photometry with FORS at the ESO VLT. 364: 113.
  • Casares, J., Steeghs, D., Hynes, R. I., Charles, P. A., Cornelisse, R., O'Brien, K. & Sion, E. (2004). Bowen Fluorescence from Companion Stars in X-ray Binaries. 20: 21-22.
  • Skidmore, W., Horne, K., Pearson, K., Gomer, R., O'Brien, K., Oke, B. & Sion, E. (2004). Rapid Keck Spectroscopy of Cataclysmic Variables. 20: 155-157.
  • Hynes, R. I., Haswell, C. A., Robinson, E. L, Horne, K., O'Brien, K., Charles, P. A., King, A. R., Rolfe, D. J. & Sion, E. (2004). Disentangling X-ray Reprocessing Sites in EXO 0748-676. 20: 12-13.
  • Skidmore, W., Gomer, R., Horne, K., O'Brien, K., Oke, B., Pearson, K. J. & Cropper, Mark (2004). High Speed Keck Spectroscopy of Flickering in AM Her. 315: 163.
  • Hynes, R. I., Steeghs, D., Casares, J., Charles, P. A. & O'Brien, Kieran (2003). Dynamical Evidence for a Black Hole in GX339-4. 7: 615.
  • Hynes, R. I., Haswell, C. A., Chaty, S., Cui, W., Shrader, C. R., O'Brien, K., Horne, K., Fuchs, Y. & Rodriguez, J. (2003). X-ray/UV correlations in XTE J1118+480: disc, jet, or something else? 35.
  • Skidmore, W., Pearson, K. J., O'Brien, K., Horne, K., Gomer, R., Beuermann, K. & Reinsch, K. (2002). Fireballs and oscillations in AE Aqr. 261: 169.
  • O'Brien, K., Horne, K., Steeghs, D. & Cuypers, J. (2001). Echoes in X-ray Binaries: Mapping the Accretion Flow. 573: 416.
  • O'Brien, Kieran (2001). Rapid optical spectroscopy of X-ray binaries with Keck II.
  • O'Brien, K. & Horne, K. (2000). Correlated X-ray and optical variability in X-ray Binaries.
  • Still, M., O'Brien, K., Horne, K., Boroson, B., Vrtilek, S., Titarchuk, L., Quaintrell, H. & Fiedler, H. (2000). Atmospheric reflection during the anomalous low-state of Hercules X-1.
  • Vrtilek, S. D., Boroson, B., Still, M., Fiedler, H., Quaintrell, H. & O'Brien, K. (1999). Yet Another Multi wavelength Campaign on Hercules X-1/HZ Herculis. 194: 905.
  • Hynes, R. L., Haswell, C. A., Fender, R. P., Shrader, C. R., Chen, W., Horne, K., Harlaftis, E. T., O'Brien, K., Hellier, C., Kemp, J., Kuulkers, E. & Woodward, C. (1998). The 1996 Outburst of GRO J1655-40. 137: 509.
  • Still, Martin, O'Brien, Kieran & Horne, Keith (1998). An Observatory for Mapping Stellar Accretion Discs.
  • Hynes, R. I., Haswell, C. A., Shrader, C. R., Chen, W., Horne, K., Harlaftis, E. T., O'Brien, K., Hellier, C., Fender, R. P., Kuulkers, E. & Woodward, C. (1998). The 1996 Outburst of GRO J1655-40: The Challenge of Interpreting the Multiwavelength Spectra. 137: 53.
  • Still, M. D., O'Brien, K. & Horne, K. (1998). Echo-sounding the accretion disks of X-ray binaries. 193: 1405.

Supervision students