Adam Hincks

Adam Hincks, S.J. is an assistant professor and Sutton Family Chair in Science, Christianity and Cultures in the David A. Dunlap Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and in the Christianity & Culture Programme at St. Michael’s College. He is also an adjunct scholar of the Vatican Observatory.

His primary research interest is physical cosmology, or the empirical study of the Universe as a whole. He helps to create and run observatories that make maps of the sky at radio wavelengths and specialises in analysing the resulting data to obtain cosmological and astrophysical information.

A Jesuit priest, Prof. Hincks also has a background in philosophy and theology and contributes to the study of the relationship between physical theory and the Christian faith, with a particular focus on the notion of creation.

At St. Michael’s College he teaches courses on science and religion and is developing the first course to be jointly offered by the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Christianity and Culture programme, entitled “The Bible and the Big Bang.”

Hailing from a long line of University of Toronto alumni, Prof. Hincks received an Hon. BSc. in Astrophysics and Physics from the University of Toronto in 2004 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Princeton University in 2009. In 2011 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Montréal, and from 2013 to 2015 did a diploma in philosophical studies at Regis College, Toronto. After a two year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia, he completed a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2018, followed by a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Regis College together with a Master of Theology from Regis College and the University of Toronto in 2020.

He is currently the vice-president of the board of the Toronto Chapter of the Society of Catholic Scientists and serves as a literary trustee for the estate of Bernard Lonergan. He is a member of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), Simons Observatory and Hydrogen Intensity and Real-time Analysis eXperiment (HIRAX) collaborations.

  • Areas of Expertise
    • Physical cosmology, astrophysics
    • Cosmic microwave background
    • Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect and clusters of galaxies
    • Software for observatory operations, data acquisition and data analysis/reduction
    • Theology and philosophy of creation. The transcendentals. Thomas Aquinas, Bernard Lonergan.
  • Links
  • Selected Academic Papers

    Adam D. Hincks et al., ‘A high-resolution view of the filament of gas between Abell 399 and Abell 401 from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope and MUSTANG-2’, submitted to MNRAS, 2021.

    Yunyang Li, Adam D. Hincks, et al., ‘Constraining CMB temperature evolution with Sunyaev-Zel’dovich galaxy clusters from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope’, submitted to ApJ, 2021.

    Adam D. Hincks, ‘Beauty, Contemplation and the Fifth Level of Consciousness: The Transcendentals within an Intentionality Analysis’, Method: Journal of Lonergan Studies n.s. 8(2):57–83, 2021.

    Adam D. Hincks, ‘What Does Physical Cosmology Say about Creation from Nothing?’ in Creation ex nihilo: Origins, Development, Contemporary Challenges, edited by Gary A. Anderson & Markus Bockmuehl, Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2018.

    Adam D. Hincks, Amir Hajian & Graeme E. Addison, ‘A high-significance measurement of correlation between unresolved IRAS sources and optically-selected galaxy clusters’, J. Cosmology Astropart. Phys. 2013(5):004, 2013.

    A. D. Hincks et al., ‘The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT): Beam Profiles and First SZ Cluster Maps’, ApJs 191(2):423–438, 2010.

  • Academic Presentations

    Conferences and Symposia

    19 Mar. 2019 — Invited paper, Templeton Symposium on Understanding Our Place in the Universe: Beyond the Legacy of Stephen Hawking, Jerusalem: ‘Fine Tuning and Divine Causality’.

    8 July 2015 — Invited paper, Creation out of Nothing Conference, University of Notre Dame: ‘What Does Physical Cosmology Say About Creation Ex Nihilo?’ (Presented in absentia.)

    6 Oct. 2014 — Talk, 24th annual Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems conference, Calgary: ‘Managing Hardware Configurations and Data Products for the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment’.

    22 May 2014 — Invited talk, IAS Workshop on New Perspectives in Cosmology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology: ‘Wider, Deeper, Faster: Probing Fundamental Cosmology with Surveys by ACT and CHIME’. I was also a panellist for a discussion of current developments in observational cosmology.

    10 Jan. 2014 — Talk, URSI National Radio Science Meeting, Boulder, CO: ‘Overview of the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)’.

    27 June 2008 — Poster (7020-1P), SPIE Astronomical Instrumentation conference, Marseille: ‘The effects of the mechanical performance and alignment of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope on the sensitivity of microwave observations’.


    Colloquia and Seminars

    29 Nov. 2019 — Jesuit History Research Group Seminar, University of Toronto: ‘The Vatican Observatory: From Early Modernity to Modern Research’

    30 Nov. 2016 — Institute of Space Astrophysics and Physical Cosmology (IASF) seminar, Bologna: ‘Measuring Cosmic Acceleration with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment’.

    13 Nov. 2015 — Sapienza University of Rome astrophysics seminar: ‘Measuring Cosmic Acceleration with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)’.

    6 March 2015 — National Optical Astronomy Observatory Friday Scientific Lunch Talk: ‘Measuring Cosmic Acceleration with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment’.

    29 Sept. 2014 — University of British Columbia Astronomy Colloquium: ‘A Tour of the Atacama Cosmology Telescope’.

    10 July 2014 — Oxford University cosmology seminar: ‘Measuring Cosmic Acceleration with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)’.

    1 July 2014 — Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Garching) cosmology seminar: ‘Measuring Cosmic Acceleration with the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)’.

    22 Jan. 2014 — Institute of Astrophysics, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile: ‘The Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME)’.

    6 Mar. 2009 — Princeton Gravity Group: ‘Small Angular Scale CMB Measurements from QUaD’.

    23 May 2008 — Princeton Gravity Group: ‘An Introduction to the Bullet Cluster’.

    25 Mar. 2008 — African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Cape Town: ‘Probing the History of the Universe with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope’.

    13 Jan. 2006 — Princeton Gravity Group: ‘Liquid Mirror Telescopes: Technology and Applications’.

  • Education

    ThM (2020) — Regis College and University of Toronto, Canada

    STL (2020) — Regis College, Canada

    STB, summa cum laude (2018)  — Pontifical Gregorian University, Italy

    Diploma in Philosophical Studies (2013) — Regis College, Canada

    Ph.D., Physics (2009) — Princeton University, U.S.A.

    Hon. BSc., with high distinction, Astronomy & Physics — University of Toronto, Canada