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Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw

Professor Mark Birkinshaw
MA, PhD(Cantab), CPhys, MInstP, FRAS

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

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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