James Binney

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
James J. Binney
James Binney.jpeg
Born 1950
Surrey, UK[1]
Nationality British
Fields Astrophysics
Institutions University of Oxford, Princeton University
Alma mater University of Cambridge, Christ Church, Oxford
Thesis On the Formation of Galaxies (1975)
Doctoral advisor Dennis Sciama
Doctoral students Brian Greene
Known for Theoretical galactic and extragalactic astrophysics
Notable awards Maxwell Prize 1986, Brouwer Award 2003, Dirac Medal 2010, Eddington Medal 2013, Institut d'astrophysique de Paris Medal 2013[2]

James Jeffrey Binney, FRS, FInstP (born 1950 in Surrey) is a British astrophysicist. He is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, where he is head of the Sub-Department of Theoretical Physics as well as a Professorial Fellow at Merton College. Binney is known principally for his work in theoretical galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, but he has made a number of contributions to areas outside of astrophysics as well.

Education and career[edit]

Binney took a first class BA in the Mathematical Tripos at the University of Cambridge in 1971, then moved to the University of Oxford, reading for a DPhil at Christ Church under Dennis Sciama, which he completed in 1975. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1983-87 and again in the fall of 1989.[3] After holding several post-doctoral positions, including a Junior Research Fellowship at Magdalen College, and a position at Princeton University, Binney returned to Oxford as a University Lecturer and Fellow and Tutor in Physics at Merton College in 1981. He was subsequently made Ad Hominem Reader in Theoretical Physics in 1991 and Professor of Physics in 1996.

Binney has received a number of awards and honours for his work, including the Maxwell Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1986, the Brouwer Award of the American Astronomical Society in 2003, the Dirac Medal in 2010,[4] and the Eddington Medal in 2013.[5] He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1973, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, both in 2000. He sits on the European Advisory Board of Princeton University Press.[6]


Binney's research interests have included:

  • Physics of cooling flows and the processes of AGN feedback;
  • Supernova disruption of galactic disk gas;
  • Dynamics of galaxies, including those of the Milky Way;
  • Galaxy and orbit modelling, including development of torus modelling techniques.


Binney has authored over a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals, and several textbooks, including Galactic Dynamics, which has long been considered the standard work of reference in its field.


  • Galactic Astronomy, by Dimitri Mihalas and James Binney, Freeman 1981.
  • Galactic Dynamics, by James Binney and Scott Tremaine, Princeton University Press, 1988.
  • The Theory of Critical Phenomena by J. J. Binney, N. J. Dowrick, A. J. Fisher & M. E. J. Newman, Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Galactic Astronomy (2nd ed.), by James Binney and Michael Merrifield, Princeton University Press, 1998.
  • Galactic Dynamics (2nd ed.), by James Binney and Scott Tremaine, Princeton University Press, 2008.
  • James Binney; David Skinner (2008). The Physics of Quantum Mechanics: An Introduction. Cappella Archive. ISBN 1902918487.  edit


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Vigroux, Laurent. "IAP's Medal Award 2013 to Pr James Binney". Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "A Community of Scholars". Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "2010 Dirac medal". Institute of Physics. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Winners of the 2013 awards, medals and prizes - full details". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "European Advisory Board". Princeton University Press. 7 July 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

  • Faculty page, Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford (includes a short biography)