Models of our Galaxy: why, how and what they do for us

Prof. James J. Binney

Abstract

The study of the Milky is expected to have a major impact on our understanding of how galaxies form and evolve. "Near-field cosmology" is being vigorously pursued through a series of major surveys of the Galaxy's stellar content (2-MASS, SDSS, RAVE, Hermes, Apogee, Gaia) that are either in hand or pending. It will be argued that what we want to know is deeply buried in these data and can only be extracted by comparing the surveys with a hierarchy of dynamical models of ever increasing complexity. Work currently being done to build such hierarchical models will be described, and some early results from this work will be summarised.

About the talk

Models of our Galaxy: why, how and what they do for us
Prof. James J. Binney
Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, Oxford University, UK
Thursday March 18, 2010
en     en

About the speaker

James Jeffrey Binney, FRS, FInstP is currently 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.

He 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, and the Dirac Medal in 2010. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, both in 2000.

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

Related talks