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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


Malcolm Longair has held many highly respected positions within the fields of physics and astronomy. He was appointed the ninth Astronomer Royal of Scotland in 1980, as well as the Regius Professor of Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, and the director of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh. He was head of the Cavendish Laboratory from 1997 to 2005. He has served on and chaired many international committees, boards and panels, working with both NASA and the European Space Agency. He has received much recognition for his work over the years, including a CBE in the millennium honours list for his services to astronomy and cosmology.

Curriculum Vitae


My main research interests are in high energy astrophysics and astrophysical cosmology. Over recent years, these have centred on the astrophysics of the most luminous extragalactic radio sources. Most recently, I have become involved in studies of the origins of cosmic magnetism and the capabilities of the SKA in advancing these studies. I have chaired numerous committees for specific science projects, including the Planck and Euclid mission of ESA. A current major project concerns a scientific history of the Cavendish Laboratory.


Key publications: 

Theoretical Concepts in Physics, (revised and enlarged, second edition) 2003. Longair, M.S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The Cosmic Century: A History of Astrophysics and Cosmology, 2006. First (corrected) paperback edition, 2013. Longair, M.S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Galaxy Formation, (second edition) 2008. Longair, M.S. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

High Energy Astrophysics, (third edition) 2011. Longair, M.S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Quantum Concepts in Physics: An Alternative Approach to the Understanding of Quantum Mechanics, 2013. Longair, M.S. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Complete list of publications.

Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy
Director of Development, Cavendish Laboratory
Emeritus Professorial Fellow of Clare Hall
Professor Malcolm  Longair

Contact Details

Room 715, Link Building
Room G25, Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics
Cavendish Laboratory,
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 765953 & +44 (0)1223 765777