Will Lockhart


I am a PhD student in high-energy astrophysics at the University of Arizona, and director of the first feature documentary on the game of Go.
Feel free to contact me at wlockhart@email.arizona.edu.

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Welcome to my website!


My current research is analyzing data from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): the first effort to image the near-horizon region of a black hole. Building on existing data analysis techniques, but with a code built from scratch, we are investigating what these reconstructed black hole images can tell us about the nature of the source. We have published the first of several papers analyzing the 2017 data on M87* (a super-massive black hole candidate located at the core of the galaxy M87), in which we confirm some of the EHT collaboration’s main results, and find something new: we show that a subtle change in the so-called ‘likelihood function’ used to compare the data to a model can affect one of the key parameters of interest, the width of the observed ring. The width is very interesting, as it has the potential to distinguish between different astrophysical situations (how close to the black hole does the accretion disk peak in emissivity, for example). The preprint of our paper can be found on the arXiv.

Previously I worked on modeling pulsar light curves. Together with professors Dimitrios Psaltis, and Feryal Ozel, we compared models of the ray-traced thermal emission from the neutron star surface with observational data from NASA’s NICER mission, in an effort to improve constraints on the mass-radius relationship of these amazing objects. Our paper on the subject can be found here.


I have three years’ experience as a teaching assistant (TA) for the freshman undergraduate physics courses at the UofA: 141 (Mechanics) and 241 (Electricity & Magnetism).

I am a nationally ranked 5-dan amateur Go player, and I have taught Go both in private lessons and group workshops.

My film:

From 2012-2017 I directed a feature-length documentary film on the game of Go, The Surrounding Game. The project was a labor of love, a worldly adventure, and my attempt to synthesize all the emotions and philosophical questions the game inspires in me. The movie is now available on major streaming platforms - go watch it! Or see the Film tab for more info.