Astronomy chair filled by expert in cosmology

Professor Joseph Silk (pictured left), Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley, has been appointed to one of Oxford's oldest chairs—the Savilian Professsorship of Astronomy, founded in 1619.

He replaces Professor George Efstathiou,and will become a Fellow of New College when he takes up his post on 1 January 1999. After graduating from Clare College, Cambridge (BA Mathematics 1963) and Harvard (Ph.D. in Astronomy 1968), Professor Silk took up his first post at Berkeley in 1970, and the Chair in Astronomy in 1978.

His research interests are in the field of cosmology, and include galaxy formation. With his research group, he pioneered predictions of the temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background that are the seeds for the large-scale structure of the universe.

He has made important contributions to the study of possible signatures for dark matter detection that is the motivation behind a number of continuing experiments around the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 270 papers in refereed journals, 100 conference and review articles, and 60 popular articles. His books include The Big Bang (W.H. Freeman, 1980) and The Left Hand of Creation, with J. Barrow (OUP, 1994).

Professor Silk is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the American Astronomical Society.

The Chair is attached to the Sub-department of Astrophysics, under the Physics Department, whose research portfolio includes cosmology and distant galaxies, infra-red instrumentation, and dark matter searches.

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