Sean Pike

Postdoctoral scholar at UCSD

email: seannpike [dot] astro [at] gmail [dot] com


About me

Hello! I am postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UCSD where I study the properties of germanium detectors in order to predict how the detectors aboard the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI) will be affected by collisions with high-energy protons in orbit. My astronomy research focuses on 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.

Navigating this website

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

Me and Sparky the Maltese hanging out at a cafe in Pasadena. Photo credit: Sarah Johnson

Recent papers

Pike, S. N., Boggs, S. E., Beechert, J., et al., 2023, NIMPA, 1056, 168562

Pike, S. N., Sugizaki, M., van den Eijnden, J., et al., 2023, ApJ, 954, 48

Pike, S. N., Mandigo-Stoba, M. S., Cook, W. C., et al., 2022, JATIS, 8(4), 046002

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

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 throughout my career.

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 and pass legislation which protects 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 served as a co-chair of Caltech for Black Lives. We worked 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.

Curriculum Vitae



What I'm listening to