Murray Campbell's first research in astrophysics was as a graduate student in a group
at Cornell University which observed the pulsar in the Crab Nebula with a large gamma
ray telescope flown on a 20 million-cubic-foot, high-altitude balloon. After obtaining
his PhD, he changed fields to infrared astronomy, using telescopes on balloons, aircraft, and mountain-tops.
Recent observations have been of candidate high-mass protostellar objects at mid-infrared wavelengths.
Colby students have worked with him on infrared astronomy since 1981, and many have been coauthors on papers in the Astrophysical Journal. He and his students are currently making computer models of the high-mass protostellar objects he observed in the mid-infrared on the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility and on the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The computer models (Whitney et al., 2003, ApJ, 591, 1049) are used both to test the cloud collapse theory of high-mass star formation and to determine the properties of individual high-mass protostellar objects.
In addition to infrared astronomy, he operates Colby's Collins Observatory for class use and student research. He teaches both physics and astronomy courses.
See also Professor Campbell's research in infrared astronomy.