Robert Mutel


Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Colorado 1975

Contact Information

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Iowa, 706 Van Allen Hall

Phone: 319-335-1950, FAX: 319-335-1753

Email: robert-mutel [at]

Home page:

Biographical Information

I was born in St. Albans, NY, and attended Cornell University (A.B. Physics, 1968). I spent a year studying auroral and magnetospheric physics in Antarctica, followed by graduate studies in astrophysics at the University of Colorado (Ph.D. 1975).  I joined the faculty at the University of Iowa in 1975. I have also been a visiting scientist at Bureau des Longitudes, Paris (1984,1985), Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University (1984,1985), National Radio Astronomy Observatory (1998; 2007), and ETH, Zurich (2007 - 2009). When not doing astronomy, I like to ride bicycles - see my personal web page for details.

Research Interests

My research centers on studying radio plasma astrophysical processes in a variety of settings, from planetary and stellar magnetospheres to active galactic nuclei. For planetary studies, I use radio instruments (designed and built at the University of Iowa) on the Cluster and Cassini spacecraft, and for high-angular resolution stellar and for extragalactic studies I use the Very Long Baseline Array, and its global extension, the High Sensitivity Array. I also have been searching for Cerenkov radio bursts caused by ultra-high energy neutrinos impacting the lunar regolith using the Very Large Array

Current Research Projects

My current research program includes three somewhat disparate topics 

- Studies of non-thermal radio emission from planetary magnetospheres, especially cyclotron maser instability (CMI) induced radiation.

- High-angular resolution studies of late-type (cool) active stars, and 

- Studies of thermal and non-thermal radio emission from young stellar objects

Recent Publications

Lynch, C.; Mutel, R. L.; Güdel, M.; Ray, T.; Skinner, S. L.; Schneider, P. C.; Gayley, K. G. 2013, Very Large Array Observations of DG Tau's Radio Jet: A Highly Collimated Thermal Outflow, Ap. J. 766,53L

Jaeger, T. R.; Osten, R. A.; Lazio, T. J.; Kassim, N.; Mutel, R. L. 2011, 325 MHz Very Large Array Observations of Ultracool Dwarfs TVLM 513-46546 and 2MASS J0036+1821104, A.J. 142,189J.

Mutel, R. et al. 2011, RX and Z Mode Growth Rates and Propagation at Cavity Boundaries, Proc.  7th Intl Workshop  Plan., Solar and Heliospheric Radio Emissions (PRE VII), 241-252.

Menietti, D., Mutel, R., Christopher, I., Hutchinson, K., Sigwarth, J. 2011, Simultaneous radio and optical observations of auroral structures: Implications for AKR beaming, JGR, 116,A12,CiteID A12219.

Peterson, W., Mutel, R., Lestrade, J-F., Guedel, M., and Goss, W. 2011, Radio Astrometry of the Triple Systems Algol ad UX Arietis, Astrophysical J., 737, 2, id 104.

Jaeger, T., Mutel, R., Gayley, K. 2010, Project RESUN, a Radio EVLA Search for UHE Neutrinos, Astroparticle Physics, 34, 293.

Mutel, R. L. et al., 2010, CMI Growth Rates for Saturnian Kilometric Radiation,   Geophys. Res. Letters, 37, Issue 19, CiteID L19105.

Lamy, L. , et al. 2010, Properties of Saturn kilometric radiation measured within its source region, Geophys. Res. Lett. 37,2,Issue 12, CiteID L12104.

Peterson, W., Mutel, R., Gudel, M. and Goss, W. M. 2010, A Large Coronal Loop in the Algol System, Nature, 463, 207.

Gayley, K. G., Mutel, R. L., & Jaeger, T. R. 2009, Astrophysical Journal, Analytic Aperture Calculation and Scaling Laws for Radio Detection of Lunar-Target UHE Neutrinos, 706, 1556.

Mutel, R. L., Christopher, I. W., & Pickett, J. S. 2008, Geophysical Research Letters Cluster multispacecraft determination of AKR angular beaming

Mutel, R. L., Peterson, W. M., Jaeger, T. R., & Scudder, J. D. 2007, Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics) Dependence of cyclotron maser instability growth rates on electron velocity distributions and perturbation by solitary waves

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