Roger Blandford

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Roger David Blandford
Roger Blandford and Roy Kerr 2016 05 (cropped).jpg
Roger Blandford in 2016.
Born (1949-08-28) 28 August 1949 (age 73)
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
St John's College, Cambridge
Institute for Advanced Study
AwardsHelen B. Warner Prize (1982)
Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (1998)
Eddington Medal (1999)
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)
Shaw Prize (2020)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center
Stanford University
Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Doctoral advisorMartin Rees
Doctoral studentsLars Hernquist

Roger David Blandford, FRS, FRAS (born 1949) is a British theoretical astrophysicist, best known for his work on black holes.

Early life[edit]

Blandford was born in Grantham, England and grew up in Birmingham.[1]


Blandford is famous in the astrophysical community for the Blandford-Znajek process which is a mechanism for powering relativistic jets by the extraction of rotational energy from a black hole.[2] The Blandford-Znajek mechanism has been invoked by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration to explain the jet power in the first observation of a black hole shadow in the giant elliptical galaxy M87.[3] Blandford also theorized another mechanism for jet formation through hydromagnetic winds launched from accretion disks.[4] In addition to the Blandford-Znajek and Blandford-Payne mechanisms for the formation of relativistic jets, Roger Blandford also helped devise a widely used theoretical model for jet geometric and spectral properties, the Blandford-Königl conical jet model,[5] used to predict radio shifts and low-frequency spectral slopes for optically thick jet cores.[6] He has also made significant contributions to other astrophysical phenomena such as supernovae, by extending the Sedov-Taylor blast wave solution to the ultra-relativistic limit of the Blandford-McKee solution.[5]

In April 2005 he wrote a letter to the astronomy community showing his concern about the George W. Bush administration US space science policy.[7]

He is also the chair of Astro2010, the decadal survey that helps define and recommend funding priorities for U.S. astronomy research in the upcoming decade. The Astro2010 report was released August 13, 2010.[8]


Blandford is a Fellow of the Royal Society, Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[9] He is currently Luke Blossom Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, Professor of Physics at Stanford University and at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) National Accelerator Laboratory.[10] He was the Pehong and Adele Chen Director, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology from 2003 to 2013.[10][11] He was a co-editor of the Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics (2005–2011).[12][13]



  1. ^ "Autobiography of Roger D Blandford | the Shaw Prize". Shaw Prize Autobiography. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  2. ^ Blandford, R. D.; Znajek, R. L. (1977). "Electromagnetic extraction of energy from Kerr black holes". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 179 (3): 433. Bibcode:1977MNRAS.179..433B. doi:10.1093/mnras/179.3.433.
  3. ^ Akiyama, Kazunori; et al. (2019). "First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole". The Astrophysical Journal. 875 (1): L1. arXiv:1906.11238. Bibcode:2019ApJ...875L...1E. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ab0ec7. S2CID 145906806.
  4. ^ Blandford, R. D.; Payne, D. G. (1982). "Hydromagnetic flows from accretion disks and the production of radio jets". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 199 (4): 883. Bibcode:1982MNRAS.199..883B. doi:10.1093/mnras/199.4.883.
  5. ^ a b Blandford, R. D.; Königl, A. (1979). "Relativistic jets as compact radio sources". The Astrophysical Journal. 232: 34. Bibcode:1979ApJ...232...34B. doi:10.1086/157262.
  6. ^ O'Sullivan, S. P.; Gabuzda, D. C. (2009). "Magnetic field strength and spectral distribution of six parsec-scale active galactic nuclei jets". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 400 (1): 26–42. arXiv:0907.5211. Bibcode:2009MNRAS.400...26O. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15428.x. S2CID 119270655.
  7. ^ Exploring the Universe – Physics Today April 2005 Archived 2007-04-17 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. 2010. doi:10.17226/12951. ISBN 978-0-309-15799-5.
  9. ^ SLAC HEP Faculty: Roger Blandford Archived 2007-07-11 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b "Roger Blandford | Department of Physics". Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  11. ^ "KIPAC Organization Chart | Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology". Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  12. ^ Blandford, Roger (2009). "Preface". Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 47 (1). doi:10.1146/annurev.aa.47.082009.100001.
  13. ^ "EDITOR OF THE ANNUAL REVIEW OF ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS - VOLUME 49, 2011". Annual Reviews. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  14. ^ "AAS Fellows". AAS. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  15. ^ Shaw Prize 2020
  16. ^ "The Crafoord Prizes in Mathematics and Astronomy 2016". Crafoord Prize. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  17. ^ "2013 winners of the RAS awards, medals and prizes". Royal Astronomical Society. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  18. ^[dead link]
  19. ^ "Eddington Medal | The Royal Astronomical Society". Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Roger D. Blandford received the Dannie Heineman Prize 1998 of the American Astronomical Society". Physics Today. 51 (7): R79. 1998. Bibcode:1998PhT....51R..79.. doi:10.1063/1.2805876.
  21. ^ "Roger D. Blandford received the Helen B. Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society". Physics Today. 36 (4): Q68. 1983. Bibcode:1983PhT....36Q..68.. doi:10.1063/1.2915596.

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