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Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw
M.A., Ph.D.(Cantab.), C.Phys., M.Inst.P., F.R.A.S.

William P. Coldrick Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics

Office 3.15
HH Wills Physics Laboratory,
Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 8775


I work on the large-scale structure of the Universe and the properties of the massive objects contained within it, using both observation and theory. I am particularly known for making the first detections of the change in brightness of the microwave background radiation caused by inverse-Compton scattering in clusters of galaxies (the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect), and in demonstrating how this effect can be used to measure cosmological parameters.

I worked on NASA's Chandra satellite before launch, and use it and other space-based and ground-based telescopes from X-ray to optical to radio bands to study galaxies, especially those hosting massive black holes and showing signs of unusual activity.

In these areas I give professional and public presentations, but I also speak and write on more general astronomical and cosmological topics.


  • astronomy
  • cosmology
  • space science
  • quasars
  • universe
  • galaxies
  • relativity
  • plasma physics

Recent publications

  • Duffy, RT, Worrall, DM, Birkinshaw, M, Nulsen, PE, Wise, MW, Vries, MNd, Snios, B, Mathews, WG, Perley, RA, Hardcastle, MJ, Rafferty, DA, McNamara, BR, Edge, AC, McKean, JP, Carilli, CL, Croston, JH, Godfrey, LE & Laing, RA, 2018, ‘The X-ray ribs within the cocoon shock of Cygnus A’. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 476., pp. 4848-4860
  • Riseley, CJ, Grainge, KJB, Perrott, YC, Scaife, AMM, Battye, RA, Beswick, RJ, Birkinshaw, M, Brown, ML, Casey, CM, Demetroullas, C, Hales, CA, Harrison, I, Hung, C-, Jackson, NJ, Muxlow, T, Watson, B, Cantwell, TM, Carey, SH, Elwood, PJ, Hickish, J, Jin, TZ, Razavi-Ghods, N, Scott, PF & Titterington, DJ, 2018, ‘AMI-LA observations of the SuperCLASS supercluster’. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 474., pp. 5598-5613
  • Smolcic, V, Intema, H, Slaus, B, Raychaudhury, S, Novak, M, Horellou, C, Chiappetti, L, Delhaize, J, Birkinshaw, M, Bondi, M, Bremer, M, Ciliegi, P, Ferrari, C, Kolokythas, K, Lidman, C, McGee, SL, Norris, R, Pierre, M, Rottgering, H, Tasse, C & Williams, W, 2018, ‘The XXL Survey. XXIX: GMRT 610 MHz continuum observations’. Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Marshall, HL, Gelbord, JM, Worrall, DM, Birkinshaw, M, Schwartz, DA, Jauncey, DL, Griffiths, G, Lovell, JE, Perlman, ES & Godfrey, L, 2018, ‘An X-Ray Imaging Survey of Quasar Jets: The Complete Survey’. Astrophysical Journal, vol 856.
  • Vries, MNd, Wise, MW, Huppenkothen, D, Nulsen, PEJ, Snios, B, Hardcastle, MJ, Birkinshaw, M, Worrall, DM, Duffy, RT & McNamara, BR, 2018, ‘Detection of non-thermal X-ray emission in the lobes and jets of Cygnus A’. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
  • Enia, A, Negrello, M, Gurwell, M, Dye, S, Rodighiero, G, Massardi, M, De Zotti, G, Franceschini, A, Cooray, A, Werf, Pvd, Birkinshaw, M, Michalowski, MJ & Oteo, I, 2018, ‘The Herschel-ATLAS: Magnifications and physical sizes of 500-μm-selected strongly lensed galaxies’. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol 475., pp. 3467-3484
  • Snios, B, Nulsen, PEJ, Wise, MW, Vries, Md, Birkinshaw, M, Worrall, DM, Duffy, RT, Kraft, RP, McNamara, BR, Carilli, C, Croston, JH, Edge, AC, Godfrey, LEH, Hardcastle, MJ, Harris, DE, Laing, RA, Mathews, WG, McKean, JP, Perley, RA, Rafferty, DA & Young, AJ, 2018, ‘The Cocoon Shocks of Cygnus A: Pressures and Their Implications for the Jets and Lobes’. Astrophysical Journal.
  • Guglielmo, V, Poggianti, BM, Vulcani, B, Adami, C, Gastaldello, F, Ettori, S, Fotoupoulou, S, Koulouridis, E, Ceja, MER, Giles, P, McGee, S, Altieri, B, Baldry, I, Birkinshaw, M, Bolzonella, M, Bongiorno, A, Chiappetti, L, Driver, S, Elyiv, A, Evrard, A, Garilli, B, Grootes, M, Guennou, L, Hopkins, A, Horellou, C, Iovino, A, Lidman, C, Liske, J, Maurogordato, S, Owers, M, Pacaud, F, Paltani, S, Pierre, M, Plionis, M, Ponman, T, Robotham, A, Sadibekova, T, Scodeggio, M, Sereno, M, Smolvcic, V & others 2017, ‘The XXL Survey: XXII. The XXL-North spectrophotometric sample and galaxy stellar mass function in X-ray detected groups and clusters’. Astronomy and Astrophysics.
  • Pierre, M, Adami, C, Birkinshaw, M, Chiappetti, L, Ettori, S, Evrard, A, Faccioli, L, Gastaldello, F, Giles, P, Horellou, C, Iovino, A, Koulouridis, E, Lidman, C, Le Brun, A, Maughan, B, Maurogordato, S, McCarthy, I, Miyazaki, S, Pacaud, F, Paltani, S, Plionis, M, Reiprich, T, Sadibekova, T, Smolcic, V, Snowden, S, Surdej, J, Tsirou, M, Vignali, C, Willis, J, Alis, S, Altieri, B, Baran, N, Benoist, C, Bongiorno, A, Bremer, M, Cappi, A, Caretta, C, Ciliegi, P, Clerc, N, Corasaniti, PS & others 2017, ‘The XXL survey: First results and future’. Astronomische Nachrichten, vol 338., pp. 334?341
  • Farahi, A, Guglielmo, V, Evrard, AE, Poggianti, BM, Adami, C, Ettori, S, Gastaldello, F, Giles, PA, Maughan, BJ, Rapetti, D, Sereno, M, Altieri, B, Baldry, I, Birkinshaw, M, Bolzonella, M, Bongiorno, A, Brown, M, Chiappetti, L, Driver, SP, Elyiv, A, Garilli, B, Guennou, L, Hopkins, A, Iovino, A, Koulouridis, E, Liske, J, Maurogordato, S, Owers, M, Pacaud, F, Pierre, M, Plionis, M, Ponman, T, Robotham, A, Sadibekova, T, Scodeggio, M, Tuffs, R & Valtchanov, I, 2017, ‘The XXL Survey: XXIII. The Mass Scale of XXL Clusters from Ensemble Spectroscopy’. Astronomy and Astrophysics.

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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