krawczynski photo

Henric Krawczynski


Office Contact Information

254 Compton

Physics Department, CB 1105
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899, USA

(314) 935-8553

Research Interests

Dr. Krawczynski works on experimental and theoretical astroparticle physics. Dr. Krawczynski is the Principal Investigator of the balloon-borne X-Calibur polarimetry mission. X-Calibur studies the polarization of hard X-rays from mass accreting black holes and rotation and accretion powered neutron stars. The experiment was flown for the first time on Sept. 17., 2016 from Fort Sumner, NM. The next flight is scheduled for December 2018 from McMurdo, Antarctic. Krawczynski works furthermore on the development of semiconductor detectors for future NASA missions. In cooperation with Brookhaven National laboratory, he is developing 11,400 pixel Cadmium Zinc Telluride detectors and readout chips (ASICs) for a future hard X-ray imaging mission following up on NASA's successful NuSTAR mission. The new ASIC/detector packages have a 3 times smaller pixel pitch (next-neighbor pixel distance) than the packages flown currently on NuSTAR. On the theoretical side, Krawczynski has studied general properties of radiation processes, the observational appearance of black holes (based on General Relativistic ray tracing studies), and on models describing the continuum emission from the ultrafast outflows of mass accreting black holes. The experimental and theoretical work aims at using astrophysical observations to test the Standard Model of Particle Physics and to probe General Relativity in the strong gravity regime.

Selected Recent Publications

Henric Krawczynski's Complete Publications List


1997 Ph.D., University of Hamburg, Physics
1994 M.Sc., University of Hamburg, Physics


2011-present Professor at Washington University
2007-2011 Associate Professor at Washington University
2002-2007 Assistant Professor at Washington University
2000-2002 Research Associate and Instructor at Yale University
1997-2000 Research Associate at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics

Responsibilities in the Physics Department

2012-present Director of Undergraduate Studies at Washington University

Honors and Awards

2007 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award of the Graduate Student Senate
2004 Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator Award
2001-2002 Gibbs Research/Instructor Fellowship at Yale
1992-1993 German DAAD Fellowship

Professional Societies

  • American Astronomical Society

Organization of Conferences and Meetings

  • Member of the scientific organizing committee of the COSPAR panel "X-RAY POLARIMETRY: EXPERIMENTS AND SCIENCE PROSPECTS", 41st COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Istanbul, Turkey, August 30- July 7, 2016.
  • Member of the scientific organizing committee of the conference "Relativistic Jets: Creation, Dynamics, and Internal Physics", Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, April 20-24, 2015.
  • Scientific organizer of a special session on "Ballooning and Sounding Rockets" at the 14th Meeting of the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), Chicago, IL, August 17-21, 2014
  • Lead scientific organizer of the SNOWPAC Special Session on the "Physics and Astrophysics with X-ray Polarization", Feb. 1, 2011, Snowbird, (UT).

Community Service

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Physics of the Cosmos Program Analysis Group (PhysPAG), 2015-2017.
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astornomical Society, 2013-2016.
  • Participation in the 2010 NRC decadal survey of astronomy and astrophysics in the "galaxies across cosmic time" Science Frontier Panel.
  • Member of the Fermi User Group (2007-2010).