Extragalactic Astronomy, Cosmology, Polarimetry, Active Galactic Nuclei
Dr. Smith's research has centered around studies of active galactic nuclei at ultraviolet, optical, and infrared wavelengths. In particular, he has utilized observations obtained by the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, as well as other orbiting observatories, and ground-based optical polarimetry to investigate a wide range of questions concerning these highly luminous and energetic objects. Ongoing, large-scale observational projects include investigating the nature of dust-obscured nuclei and the connections between optical continuum linear polarization and the radio and gamma-ray behavior seen in blazars. He has been closely involved in telescope operations issues at the observatory and with the calibration of the spectroscopic capability of the MIPS instrument aboard Spitzer.