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Watanabe, Ken (PhD)

Department of Chemistry & Physics
Office: WH 0261
Phone: 239-590-7565

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Ph.D. Physics, Clemson University, SC
MS Physics, University of Iowa, IA
BS Physics, Tohoku University, Japan


Gamma-ray Astrophysics, High Energy Atmospheric Physics

Research and Teaching Interests

Research Interests
  • Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background
  • Supernovae, AGNs (Seyferts & Blazars)
  • Galactic 511 keV Annihilations
  • Search for unpredicted Gamma-ray lines from all sky
  • Gamma-Ray Bursts and optical counterparts
  • Studying Sprites and TGFs to investigate particle acceleration

Courses Offered

College Physics I with Lab (PHY 2053C)
College Physics II with Lab (PHY 2054C)
General Physics I with Lab (PHY 2048C)
General Physics II with Lab (PHY 2049C)
Essentials of Astrophysics (AST 3211)


Selected Published Papers
  • "SMM Measurement of the Isotropic Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background", K. Watanabe, M. Leising, G. Share, R. Kinzer, AAS HEAD Meeting (Charleston, SC April 12-15, 1999)
  • "The Contribution of GRBs to the Cosmic Gamma-Ray Background", K. Watanabe and D.H.Hartmann, AAS HEAD Meeting (Honolulu, HI November 6-10, 2000)
  • "An Overview of Gamma-Ray Line Results from the INTEGRAL Spectrometer (SPI)", B. Teegarden , E. Cisana, B. Cordier, R. Diehl , M. Harris, P. Jean, V. Lonjou, J. Knödlseder, K. Kretschmer, G. Lichti, J. P. Roques, S. Schanne, V. Schönfelder, G. K. Skinner, A. Strong, K. Watanabe, M. Valsesia, P. von Ballmoos, A. von Kienlin, and G. Weidenspointner, The 8th HEAD Meeting ( New Orleans, LA, September 8 - 11, 2004))
  • "INTEGRAL Observations of the Galactic 511 keV Emission and MeVGamma-ray Astrophysics", K.Watanabe, The18th Rironkon Symposium (INVITED TALK, Yukawa Institute, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan, December 25 –27, 2005)
  • "Comprehensive Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with INTEGRAL /SPI", K. Watanabe and B. J. Teegarden, 5th INTEHRAL Workshop (Copenhagen, Denmark, September 8 - 11, 2008)
  • "GRT-WF (Goddard Robotic Telescope Wide Field) Observations on Sprites to Study Correlations Between Sprites and TGFs", Ken Watanabe, Jakob Hegley, Ekaterina Vydra (Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, United States), Takanori Sakamoto(Aoyama Gakuin University, Sagamihara, Japan), Takashi Okajima, Neil Gehrels (NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States), The 29th IAU (International Astronomical Union) General Assembly (Honolulu, HI, August, 3 – 14,2015)
  • "Measurements of Radon Air Distribution in the Florida Peninsula", Ken Watanabe1, Tatsuo Torii2, Hiroshi Usami3, Shin Kubo4, Hunter Danielson1, Martin Marks1, and Chelsea Atkins1, (1)Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL, United States, (2)JAEA Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Remote Sensing Div., CLADS, Nucl. Sci. Res. Inst., Tokai-mura, Japan, (3)JAEA Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tomioka, Japan, (4)Clear Pulse Co., LTD, Tokyo, Japan, AGU Fall Meeting (Washington, DC, December 10 – 14, 2018)

Conference Presentations

Selected Papers Presented
  • "Constraints on Association of Single-Pulse Gamma-Ray Bursts and Supernovae", J.P. Norris, J.T. Bonnell, and K. Watanabe, ApJ 518:901, 1999 (also astro-ph/9807322)
  • "Chasing the Association of Single-Pulse Gamma-Ray Bursts and Supernovae", J.T. Bonnell, J.P. Norris and K. Watanabe, A & AS 138:471, 1999
  • "The Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background from Supernovae",K. Watanabe, D. H. Hartmann, M. D. Leising and L. -S. The, ApJ 516:285,1999 (also astro-ph/9809197)
  • "Studying the High-Energy Gamma-Ray Sky with GLAST," T. Kamae, T. Ohsugi, D.J. Thompson and K. Watanabe (on behalf of the GLAST Collaboration), Advances in Space Research Vol. 25:905, 2000 (also astro-ph/9901187)
  • "INTEGRAL/SPI Limitation Electron-Positron Annihilation Radiation from the Galactic Plane", B. J. Teegarden, K. Watanabe, P. Jean, J. Kn¨odlseder,V. Lonjou, J. P. Roques, G. K. Skinner, P. von Ballmoos, G. Weidenspointner, A. Bazzano, Y. M. Butt, A. Decourchelle, A. C. Fabian, A. Goldwurm, M. G¨udel, D. C. Hannikainen, D. H. Hartmann, A. Hornstrup, W. H. G. Lewin, K. Makishima, A. Malzac, J. Miller, A. N. Parmar, S. P Reynolds, R. E. Rothschild, V Sch¨onfelder, J. A. Tomsick, and J. Vink, ApJ 621:296, 2005 (also astro-ph/0410354)
  • "A Comprehensive Search for Gamma-Rays Lines in the First Year of Data from the INTEGRAL Spectrometer", B. J. Teegarden and K. Watanabe, ApJ 646:965, 2006
  • "A new hard X-ray source discovered by INTEGRAL: IGR J16442-554", E. Bozzo (ISDC), C.Ferrigno (IAAT/ISDC), J. Chenevez (DTU-NSI), M. Del Santo, A. De Rosa, M. Fiocchi, A. Tarana, P. Ubertini (INAF/IASF-Roma), S. Corbel, D. Goetz, L. Prat, J.-A. Zurita-Heras (CEA-Saclay), M. Renaud (APC/Univ-Paris7), S. Mereghetti, A. Paizis, L. Sidoli (INAF/IASF-Mi), P.R. den Hartog (HEPL/KIPAC/Stanford), L. Kuiper (SRON), I. Negueruela (Universidad de Alicante), S. Piraino (IASF-Pa-INAF), Georg Weidenspointner (MPI), K. Watanabe (FGCU). ATel 2185, 2009.
  • "INTEGRAL observations of the BHC IGR J17091-3624 in outburst", Capitanio F. (INAF/IASF-Roma), Tramacere A. (ISDC), Del Santo M. (INAF/IASF-Roma), Bozzo E. (ISDC), Watanabe K. (FGCU), Caballero I. (CEA-AIM Saclay), Chenevez J. (DTU Space, Denmark) , Paizis A. (INAF/IASF-Milano), Pottschmidt K. (UMBC/NASA GSFC), Sanchez-Fernandez C. (ESA/ESAC, Spain), Sguera V. (INAF/IASF- Bologna), Tarana A. (INAF/IASF-Roma), ATel 3159, 2011
  • "IGR J18245-2452: a new hard X-ray transient discovered by INTEGRAL", D. Eckert (ISDC, Switzerland), M. Del Santo, A. Bazzano (INAF/IAPS Rome, Italy), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), A. Paizis (INAF-Milano, Italy), E. Bozzo, C. Ferrigno (ISDC, Switzerland), I. Caballero (CEA, France), L Sidoli (INAF-IASF Milano, Italy), L. Kuiper (SRON, Netherlands), ATel #4925; 2013
  • "INTEGRAL detects renewed activity from GRS 1736-297", V. Esposito (ISDC, Switzerland), K. Watanabe (FGCU, USA), E. Kuulkers (ESA/ESAC, Spain), E. Bozzo, C. Ferrigno (ISDC, Switzerland), ATel #8698; 2016
  • "Multi-Year Observations of Geminid Meteor Showers with GRT-WF", Ken Watanabe and Martin B. Marks (FGCU), WGN , the Journal of the IMO, 46:5, 2018


Grants & Awards

Research Grants

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 8/15/06 – 8/14/07

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 1/31/07 – 1/30/09

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Continuation of Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 2/1/08 – 1/31/10

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "More Continuation of Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 1/31/09 – 1/30/10

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Additional Observation to Search for Unpredicted Gamma-ray Lines with SPI"
Grant Period: 5/5/10 – 5/4/12

Sponsor: NASA
Title: "Optical Coordination with Fermi by GRT and GRT-WF Investigation of Paticle Acceleration in AGNs, GRBs and TGFs"
Grant Period: 8/20/10 – 8/19/12

Dr. Watanabe worked on several NASA space missions: Compton Gamma-ray Observatory (CGRO), Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST or Fermi),  and ESA’s International Gamma-ray Laboratory (INTEGRAL) while working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD.  His expertise is High Energy Gamma-ray Astrophysics. After joining FGCU his research has expanded to High Energy Atmospheric phenomena such as Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) and Sprites, as well as optical Blazar monitoring using the SARA (the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy) telescopes. He has taught College Physics with Lab I & II (PHY 2053C & PHY 2054C), General Physics with Lab I & II (PHY 2048C & PHY 2049C), and Essentials of Astrophysics (AST 3211) at FGCU numerous times. 

Professional Organizasions

  • Collaborator at Astroparticle PhysicsLaboratory, Exploration of the Universe Division,    
  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Full member of High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • Member of International Astronomical Union (IAU)
  • Member of American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • COSPAR (Committee On SPAce Research) Associate