Sean Pike

PhD candidate at Caltech

email: spike [at] caltech [dot] edu


About me

Hello! I am a Physics graduate student in the NuSTAR group at Caltech, where I study accreting objects, including low-mass X-ray binaries, supergiant X-ray binaries, and ultra-luminous X-ray sources. I am particularly interested in the varied and extreme phenomena that arise due to accretion onto neutron stars, such as X-ray pulsations and thermonuclear bursts. I also work in the lab studying Cadmium (Zinc) Telluride detectors for future astronomical missions.

Navigating this website

Everything is on one page; scroll down to find a selection of papers, my CV, and more.

Me and Snuggles the Maltese enjoying a sunny day at Caltech. Photo credit: Sarah Johnson

Selected papers

Pike, S. N., Negoro, H., Tomsick, J. A., et al., 2022, ApJ, 927, 190

Pike, S. N., Harrison, F. A., Tomsick, J. A., et al., 2021, ApJ, 918, 9

Pike, S. N., Harrison, F. A., Bachetti, M., et al., 2019, ApJ, 875, 144

Pike, S. N., Harrison, F. A., Burnham, J. A., et al., 2018, Proceedings of the SPIE, 10762

Pike, S. N., Ebisawa, K., Ikeda, S., et al. 2017, Journal of Space Science Informatics Japan, Volume 6

Click here to see all papers on ADS

Community organizing and service

I feel compelled to build communities based in care and compassion. Below are a few of the ways I've done that at Caltech.

Socialists of Caltech

As a founding member and previous co-chair of the Socialists of Caltech, I have worked with other students to help make our communities better places to live for working people. I have run regular reading groups, designed lessons for outreach to local schools, and helped to write legislation which will protect local renters.

CaltechY RISE tutoring

As a CaltechY RISE tutor, I taught local high school students math and physics for several years. I have a deep love for teaching, and I strive to provide a welcoming environment in which students can build their confidence and their understanding at the same time.

Caltech for Black Lives

I cofounded and currently serve as a co-chair of Caltech for Black Lives. We work closely with the Black Scientists and Engineers of Caltech (BSEC) to make Caltech a safer and more welcoming place for those belonging to minoritized groups. I am currently working on a program by which Caltech community members can correspond with incarcerated people.

Curriculum Vitae



What I'm listening to