The science requirements of the James Webb space telescope

Jonathan P. Gardner, John C. Mather, Mark Clampin, Matthew A. Greenhouse, Heidi B. Hammel, John B. Hutchings, Peter Jakobsen, Simon J. Lilly, Jonathan I. Lunine, Mark J. McCaughrean, Matt Mountain, George H. Rieke, Marcia J. Rieke, Eric P. Smith, Massimo Stiavelli, H. S. Stockman, Regier A. Windhorst, Gillian S. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The scientific requirements of the James Webb Space Telescope fall into four themes. The End of the Dark Ages: First Light and Reionization seeks to identify the first luminous sources to form and to determine the ionization history of the Universe. The Assembly of Galaxies seeks to determine how galaxies and the dark matter, gas, stars, metals, morphological structures, and active nuclei within them evolved from the epoch of reionization to the present. The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems seeks to unravel the birth and early evolution of stars, from infall onto dust-enshrouded protostars, to the genesis of planetary systems. Planetary Systems and the Origins of Life seeks to determine the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems including our own, and investigate the potential for life in those systems. These themes will guide the design and construction of the observatory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-575
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 2
StatePublished - 2004
EventOptical, Infrared, and Millimeter Space Telecopes - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004


  • Infrared
  • Instrumentation
  • JWST
  • Science
  • Space telescope
  • Webb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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