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The 2020 Prize in Astronomy

Roger D Blandford

for his foundational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, especially concerning the fundamental understanding of active galactic nuclei, the formation and collimation of relativistic jets, the energy extraction mechanism from black holes, and the acceleration of particles in shocks and their relevant radiation mechanisms.

 

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Roger D Blandford

The Contribution

The Shaw Prize in Astronomy 2020 is awarded to Roger D Blandford, Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University, USA for his foundational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, especially concerning the fundamental understanding of active galactic nuclei, the formation and collimation of relativistic jets, the energy extraction mechanism from black holes, and the acceleration of particles in shocks and their relevant radiation mechanisms.
 
Roger D Blandford is one of the most outstanding all-round theoretical astrophysicists of his generation. He has made major contributions to an extremely broad spectrum of astrophysical problems, arguably placing him among the rare group of “universal” scientists. He has been one of the leaders in the modelling and interpretation of gravitational lensing. He has contributed to the interpretation of γ-ray data from the Fermi spacecraft and to the study of gravitational waves. His most important research contributions deal with the fundamental understanding of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and their relativistic jets.

 

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About the Laureate

 

Roger D Blandford

Roger D Blandford was born in 1949 in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom and is currently Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor at SLAC National Accelerator Labouratory, Stanford University, USA. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Physics and his PhD from Cambridge University, UK in 1970 and 1974 respectively. He was a Charles Kingsley Bye-Fellow at Magdalene College (1972–1973) and Research Fellow at St John’s College (1973–1976), Cambridge University. He then joined California Institute of Technology, USA, where he was successively Assistant Professor (1976–1979), Professor (1979–1989) and Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics (1989–2004). He was the Pehong and Adele Chen Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) (2003–2013) and Professor of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (2003–2005) at Stanford University, USA. He was also a KIPAC Division Head, PPA Directorate at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (2005–2013). He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. 

 

21 May 2020    Hong Kong