Professor James Binney FRS

Emeritus Professor of Physics, Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics


Professor James Binney is a theoretical physicist who seeks to understand the structure of galaxies and how they emerged from the expanding cosmos.

He is co-author of three standard graduate texts (The Theory of Critical Phenomena, OUP 1991; Galactic Astronomy, PUP 1998; Galactic Dynamics, PUP 2008) and an undergraduate text (The Physics of Quantum Mechanics, OUP). He also wrote A Very Short Introduction to Astrophysics (OUP).

Professor Binney was President of Division VII of the International Astronomical Union (1994-7) and has served on many funding bodies in the UK and abroad. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2000 and in 2022 became an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The prizes he has won include the Maxwell and Dirac Medals of the Institute of Physics, the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Occhialini Medal of the Italian Physical Society, the Dirk Brewer Award of the American Astronomical Society and the Medaille de l'Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris.