Mission Support

Dr. Peter Michelson - Fermi LAT Principal Investigator
image of Dr. Peter Michelson Dr. Peter Michelson is a professor of Physics at Stanford University, Calif., and the Principal Investigator for the Large Area Telescope, or LAT, on the Fermi spacecraft.

Michelson is a Professor of Physics at Stanford University. His research interests are in the field of high energy astrophysics, particularly X-ray and gamma-ray observations and instrument development. He is currently leading an international team (involving 18 institutions) developing the next-generation orbiting high-energy gamma-ray observatory known as Fermi. He was involved with the concept and development of Fermi from its earliest stages as he was co-chair of Fermi Facility Science Definition Team from 1997-1999 and prior to that, a member of NASA's Gamma-ray Astronomy Program Working Group from1994-99.

Dr. Michelson has been involved with NASA in a variety of committees. He is a past member of the NASA Office of Space Science Structure and Evolution of the Universe Subcommittee (SEUS); the NASA Science Coordinating Committee for Experimental Gravitation; NASA MIDEX review committee; the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Visiting Committee for Space Science; and the former Chair of the NASA gravity Scientific Research &Technology review committee.

He also served on the Committee on Gravitational Physics of the National Research Council, and the High-Energy Astrophysics Panel of the NRC Decadal Astronomy Survey Committee. He's been a reviewer for many journals including Nature and the Journal of Physics as well as an international advisory on astrophysics to the World Scientific Publishing Company.

Peter has a long history with Stanford University. After obtaining his B.S. in Physics from Santa Clara University, Calif. in 1974, he received his Master's in Physics from Stanford in 1976. He worked at NASA Ames Research Center from 1976 until 1979, when he returned to Stanford and completed his Ph.D. in 1979. Since then he's been a Research Associate, Senior Research Associate, Assistant, then Associate Professor of Physics, and currently a Professor of Physics since 1997.

Michelson has also been the recipient of many awards, including a Postdoctoral Research Associate-ship through the National Research Council, and was a National Program Research Scholar, as awarded by the Committee for Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China in 1983. He was also the co-recipient, Alan Berman Research Publication Award, Department of the Navy, in 1993.

For a full list of the committees, awards and honors, please visit on the Web: