George Efstathiou

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For the American architect, see George J. Efstathiou.
George Efstathiou
Born 1955
Residence UK
Nationality British
Fields Cosmology
Institutions University of California Berkeley
Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
University of Oxford
Alma mater Keble College, Oxford
University of Durham
Doctoral advisor Arnold Wolfendale[1]
Notable awards Maxwell Medal and Prize (1990)
Heineman Prize (2005)
Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2011)

George Petros Efstathiou FRS (/ɛfˈstæθj/; born 1955) is a British astrophysicist who is Professor of Astrophysics and Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He was previously Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford.


Efstathiou was educated at Tottenham Grammar School which he left at age 16 and to which he returned as a lab technician. He then studied at Keble College, Oxford and the University of Durham. He was a research assistant in the Astronomy Department of University of California Berkeley from 1979 to 1980, then moved to the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, holding research fellowships at King's College, Cambridge from 1980 to 1988. He was appointed as Savilian Professor of Astronomy at the University of Oxford in 1988 (a post that he held in conjunction with a fellowship at New College, Oxford) and served as Head of Astrophysics between 1988 and 1994. He returned to Cambridge in 1997 as Professor of Astrophysics (1909) and a Fellow of King's College. Efstathiou served as Director of the Institute of Astronomy between 2004 and 2008.He became the first Director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology in 2008.[2]


Efstathiou has made a number of notable contributions to research in cosmology, including:

  • With Marc Davis, Carlos Frenk and Simon White he pioneered the use of N-body computer simulations[3] of cosmic structure formation.
  • With J. Richard Bond he made the first detailed calculations of cosmic microwave background anisotropies in cold dark matter models.[4]
  • With Steve Maddox, Will Sutherland and Jon Loveday he constructed the APM Galaxy Survey and measured large-scale galaxy clustering, providing early evidence for the now-standard Lambda CDM model.[5]
  • He was one of the originators of the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey, and provided confirmation of dark energy using measurements of large-scale structure.[6]
  • He is one of the leaders of the science team for the Planck spacecraft, which as of 2015 provides the best measurements of the cosmic microwave background.

Awards and honours[edit]

He was awarded the Maxwell Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics in 1990, and appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1994, the same year in which he was awarded the Bodossaki Foundation Academic and Cultural Prize for Astrophysics. Other awards in the Robinson Prize in Cosmology (University of Newcastle, 1997) and the Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (American Institute of Physics and American Astronomical Society, 2005).[2] He received the Gruber Prize in Cosmology for 2011 jointly with Marc Davis, Carlos Frenk and Simon White and the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in 2015. [7]


  1. ^ "Profile: Prof. Sir Arnold Wolfendale FRS". Astronomy & Geophysics. 49 (4): 4.11. 2008. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4004.2008.49411.x. 
  2. ^ a b "Efstathiou, Prof. George Petros". Who's Who 2010. Oxford University Press. November 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Davis, M.; Efstathiou, G.; Frenk, C. S.; White, S. D. M. (May 1985). "The evolution of large-scale structure in a universe dominated by cold dark matter". The Astrophysical Journal. 292: 371. doi:10.1086/163168. 
  4. ^ Bond, J. R.; Efstathiou, G. (October 1984). "Cosmic background radiation anisotropies in universes dominated by nonbaryonic dark matter". The Astrophysical Journal. 285: L45. doi:10.1086/184362. 
  5. ^ Efstathiou, G.; Sutherland, W. J.; Maddox, S. J. (27 December 1990). "The cosmological constant and cold dark matter". Nature. 348 (6303): 705–707. doi:10.1038/348705a0. 
  6. ^ Efstathiou, G.; Moody, Stephen; Peacock, John A.; Percival, Will J.; Baugh, Carlton; Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Bridges, Terry; Cannon, Russell; Cole, Shaun; Colless, Matthew; Collins, Chris; Couch, Warrick; Dalton, Gavin; Propris, Roberto De; Driver, Simon P.; Ellis, Richard S.; Frenk, Carlos S.; Glazebrook, Karl; Jackson, Carole; Lahav, Ofer; Lewis, Ian; Lumsden, Stuart; Maddox, Steve; Norberg, Peder; Peterson, Bruce A.; Sutherland, Will; Taylor, Keith (February 2002). "Evidence for a non-zero and a low matter density from a combined analysis of the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey and cosmic microwave background anisotropies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 330 (2): L29–L35. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05215.x. 
  7. ^ "Hughes Medal". Royal Society. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 

External links[edit]