The Bruce Medalists


  Photo courtesy Prof. Lynden-Bell
Donald Lynden-Bell
5 April 1935 1998 Bruce Medalist

Donald Lynden-Bell was educated at the University of Cambridge, where, after periods at the California Institute of Technology and the Royal Greenwich Observatory, he became professor of astrophysics in 1972. He is known for significant contributions to the theories of star motions, the formation of the Galaxy, spiral structure in galaxies, chemical evolution of galaxies, and the distributions and motions of galaxies and quasars. He has also worked on the mechanisms behind magnetohydrodynamic jets and relativistic disks. His 1962 paper with Olin Eggen and Allan Sandage, proposing that the Galaxy formed in a free-falling collapse, has stimulated an enormous amount of research. In 1969 he proposed that emissions from the centers of nearby galaxies may represent dead quasars. He is the senior member and chief theorist of the group of seven astronomers who investigated the motions of nearby galaxy clusters and who proposed the “Great Attractor” to explain them. He has worked on the relation of the nature of the universe to inertia (Mach's Principle). With his wife Ruth, a chemist, he has investigated thermodynamic equilibrium in clusters of stars and galaxies. His recent research has dealt with problems in optics, cosmology, and relativistic physics.

Personal Web Page
At International Center for Scientific Research

Presentation of Bruce medal
Mercury 27, 3, 5 (1998).

Other awards
American Astronomical Society, Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, 2000.
American Astronomical Society Division on Dynamical Astronomy, Dirk Brouwer Award, 1991.
Astronomische Gesellschaft, Karl Schwarzschild Medal, 1983.
Kavli Foundation, Kavli Prize for Astrophysics, 2008
National Academy of Sciences, John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science, 2000.
Royal Astronomical Society, Eddington Medal, 1984, presented by R. Hide, QJRAS 25, 3, 231 (1984); Gold Medal, 1993, presented QJRAS 34, 3, 273 (1993).

Some offices held
Royal Astronomical Society, President, 1985-87.

Biographical materials
Earn, D. J. D., “The Publications and Citations of Donald Lynden-Bell,” in Gravitational Dynamics, Proceedings of the 36th Herstmonceux conference, in Honour of Professor D. Lynden-Bell’s 60th Birthday Held in Cambridge, UK, August 7-11, 1995, O. Lahav, E. Terlevich, R.J. Terlevich, eds. (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1996), p.249.
Lynden-Bell, Donald, “Searching for Insight,” Ann. Rev. Astron. & Astrophys. 48, 1-19 (2010).

Clare College, Cambridge
Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, India (another)
Kavli Prize

Named after him
Minor Planet #18235 Lynden-Bell

More references

The Bruce Medalists

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