Roger D. Blandford

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Primary Section: 12, Astronomy
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2005)


Roger Blandford took his BA, MA and PhD degrees at Cambridge University. Following postdoctoral research at Cambridge, Princeton and Berkeley he took up a faculty position at Caltech in 1976 where he was appointed as the Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics in 1989. In 2003 He moved to Stanford University to become the first Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and the Luke Blossom Chair in the School of Humanities and Science. His research interests include black hole astrophysics, cosmology, gravitational lensing, cosmic ray physics and compact stars. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2008-2010, he chaired a two year National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He was awarded the 1998 Dannie Heineman Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the 2013 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the 2016 Crafoord Prize for Astronomy and the 2020 Shaw Prize for Astronomy. He co-authored with Kip Thorne the textbook Modern Classical Physics. 

Research Interests

Roger Blandford's current research program is mostly centered on the interpretation of ``extreme'' cosmic sources associated with black holes, neutron stars and strong shock waves responsible for active galactic nuclei, gamma ray and fast radio bursts and cosmic rays with energies up to 1 ZeV. He also maintains an interest in gravitational lensing and is developing one involving possible  the possible role of cosmic rays in the origin of life.

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