Katherine Blundell

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Katherine Blundell

Katherine Blundell (19565464801) (cropped).jpg
Katherine Blundell in 2015
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA, PhD)
Known forGlobal Jet Watch[1]
Spouse(s)Stephen Blundell
Scientific career
Black holes
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
ThesisAsymmetries in radio galaxies and quasars (1995)

Katherine Mary Blundell OBE is a Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Oxford and a supernumerary research fellow at St John's College, Oxford.[2] Previously, she held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship,[when?] and fellowships from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and Balliol College, Oxford.[3][4]


Blundell was educated at the University of Cambridge[5] where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree[when?] followed by a PhD in 1995 for research on radio galaxies and quasars.[6][7]

Research and career[edit]

Blundell's research[8] investigates the physics of active galaxies – such as quasars. She also studies objects in the Milky Way such as microquasars which produce astrophysical jets of plasma that emit radio waves and move at speeds close to the speed of light.[2]

Blundell is founder of the Global Jet Watch (GJW) project,[1] which records spectroscopic measurements of microquasars such as SS 433.[9][10] The project uses five Ritchey–Chrétien telescopes separated in longitude around the earth so that at any time at least one of them is in night-time. Two of the telescopes are located in Australia (Western Australia and New South Wales), with one each in India, South Africa and Chile.[1]

Blundell's work has been funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC),[11] the Royal Society[5] and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Her collaborators have included Steven Balbus,[11] Steven Rawlings,[12] Roger Llewelyn Davies,[11] Stephen Blundell[13] and Fraser A. Armstrong.[14][15]

Blundell is the author or co-author of several books including Black Holes : A Very Short Introduction,[16] Concepts in Thermal Physics[13] and Energy... beyond Oil.[14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Blundell was appointed Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to astronomy and the education of young people.[17] She was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Astrophysics in 2005, the Rosalind Franklin Award from the Royal Society in 2010, the Lawrence Bragg Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics (IOP) in 2012 and the George Darwin Lectureship from the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) in 2015.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c "Global Jet Watch Home". globaljetwatch.net.
  2. ^ a b c "Professor Katherine Blundell OBE Supernumerary Research Fellow in Astrophysics". sjc.ox.ac.uk.
  3. ^ a b "Katherine Blundell Professor of Astrophysics". physics.ox.ac.uk.
  4. ^ Blundell, K. M. (1996). "Evidence for widely separated primary and secondary hotspots in 3C 171". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 283 (2): 538–542. Bibcode:1996MNRAS.283..538B. doi:10.1093/mnras/283.2.538. ISSN 0035-8711.
  5. ^ a b Winkless, Laurie (2016). "International Womens Day 2016: Life and research with Katherine Blundell". blogs.royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-04-19.
  6. ^ Blundell, Katherine Mary (1995). Asymmetries in radio galaxies and quasars. lib.cam.ac.uk (PhD thesis). University of Cambridge. OCLC 53602207. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.338069.
  7. ^ Louis, Ard (2016). "Katherine Blundell: Academic Journey". youtube.com. YouTube.
  8. ^ Katherine Blundell publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Blundell, Katherine M.; Bowler, Michael G. (2004). "Symmetry in the Changing Jets of SS 433 and Its True Distance from Us". The Astrophysical Journal. 616 (2): L159–L162. arXiv:astro-ph/0410456. Bibcode:2004ApJ...616L.159B. doi:10.1086/426542. ISSN 0004-637X.
  10. ^ Jeffrey, Robert (2016). The remarkable outflows from the galactic microquasar SS433. ora.ox.ac.uk (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. EThOS uk.bl.ethos.730205. Free to read
  11. ^ a b c Anon (2018). "UK Government grants awarded to Katherine Blundell". rcuk.ac.uk. Swindon: Research Councils UK. Archived from the original on 2018-02-05.
  12. ^ Blundell, Katherine M.; Rawlings, Steve (1999). "The inevitable youthfulness of known high-redshift radio galaxies". Nature. 399 (6734): 330–332. arXiv:astro-ph/9905333. Bibcode:1999Natur.399..330B. doi:10.1038/20612. ISSN 0028-0836. closed access
  13. ^ a b Blundell, Stephen J.; Blundell, Katherine M. (2010). Concepts in thermal physics (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562091.001.0001. ISBN 9780199562107. OCLC 607907330.
  14. ^ a b Armstrong, Fraser; Blundell, Katherine (2007). Energy... beyond oil. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199209965. OCLC 314220853.
  15. ^ "Blundell, Katherine Mary - Profile". inspirehep.net. INSPIRE-HEP.
  16. ^ Blundell, Katherine (2015). Black holes : A Very Short Introduction (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/actrade/9780199602667.001.0001. ISBN 9780199602667. OCLC 932859524.
  17. ^ Anon (2017). "Professor Katherine Mary BLUNDELL: Order of the British Empire". thegazette.co.uk. The London Gazette.