Donald Lynden-Bell

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Donald Lynden-Bell
Born(1935-04-05) April 5, 1935 (age 78)
Dover, United Kingdom
FieldsAstrophysics
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisStellar and galactic dynamics (1961)
Doctoral advisorLeon Mestel
Doctoral studentsSimon White
Somak Raychaudhury
Notable awardsEddington Medal (1984)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1993)
Brouwer Award (1991)
Karl Schwarzschild Medal (1983)
Bruce Medal (1998)
National Academy of Sciences John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (2000)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship (2000)
Kavli Prize for Astrophysics (2008)
 
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Donald Lynden-Bell
Born(1935-04-05) April 5, 1935 (age 78)
Dover, United Kingdom
FieldsAstrophysics
InstitutionsUniversity of Cambridge
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
ThesisStellar and galactic dynamics (1961)
Doctoral advisorLeon Mestel
Doctoral studentsSimon White
Somak Raychaudhury
Notable awardsEddington Medal (1984)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1993)
Brouwer Award (1991)
Karl Schwarzschild Medal (1983)
Bruce Medal (1998)
National Academy of Sciences John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (2000)
Henry Norris Russell Lectureship (2000)
Kavli Prize for Astrophysics (2008)

Donald Lynden-Bell CBE FRS (born April 5, 1935) is an English astrophysicist, best known for his theories that galaxies contain massive black holes at their centre, and that such black holes are the principal source of energy in quasars.[1] He was a co-recipient, with Maarten Schmidt, of the inaugural Kavli Prize for Astrophysics in 2008. Lynden-Bell has been the president of the Royal Astronomical Society. He currently works at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge; he was the Institute's first director. Educated at the University of Cambridge, in 1962 he published research with Olin Eggen and Allan Sandage[2] arguing that our galaxy originated through the dynamic collapse of a single large gas cloud.[3] In 1969 he published his theory that quasars are powered by massive black holes accreting material. From counting dead quasars, he deduced that most massive galaxies have black holes at their centres.

He was also a member of a group of astronomers known as the 'Seven Samurai' (Sandra Faber, David Burstein, Alan Dressler, Donald Lynden-Bell, Roger Davies, Roberto Terlevich, and Gary Wegner)[4] which postulated the existence of the Great Attractor, a huge, diffuse region of material around 250 million light-years away that results in the observed motion of our local galaxies.

His wife is the Cambridge Professor of Chemistry Ruth Lynden-Bell.[5]

Chronology[edit]

His current research mainly focuses on astrophysical jets and general relativity.

Honors[edit]

Awards

Named after him

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lynden-Bell, D. (1969). "Galactic Nuclei as Collapsed Old Quasars". Nature 223 (5207): 690. Bibcode:1969Natur.223..690L. doi:10.1038/223690a0. 
  2. ^ Lynden-Bell, Donald; Schweizer, François (2012). "Allan Rex Sandage. 18 June 1926 -- 13 November 2010". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2011.0021.  edit
  3. ^ Eggen, O. J.; Lynden-Bell, D.; Sandage, A. R. (1962). "Evidence from the motions of old stars that the Galaxy collapsed". The Astrophysical Journal 136: 748. Bibcode:1962ApJ...136..748E. doi:10.1086/147433. 
  4. ^ Dennis Overbye, "Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos," 1st. ed., p. 410, Harper Collins, 1991
  5. ^ Donald Lynden-Bell NNDB
  6. ^ "John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  7. ^ "Gruppe 2: Fysikkfag (herunder astronomi, fysikk og geofysikk)" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 7 October 2010.