UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


Raman Prinja

Professor Raman Prinja is a Professor of Astrophysics and the recently appointed Head of the Physics and Astronomy Department.

Professor Raman Prinja

7 January 2019

Having arrived as an undergraduate, Raman will in 2019 mark 40 years at UCL. During this tenure he has held positions spanning from a Royal Society University Research Fellow to Director for the Natural Sciences, Director of Teaching, and Deputy-Head. Along these pathways, Raman has accumulated five teaching awards, including most recently the 2018 UCL Education Award.

Raman's research interests are focused on studies of massive stars at the extremes of their evolution. These stars truly live in the fast lane, with millions times more luminous power than our Sun, leading to violent deaths as supernove explosions. In these final acts they spread life-giving chemical elements across the galaxies. Among the remnants leftover may be binary black holes which coalesce to generate the gravitational waves so spectacularly discovered recently.

His projects exploit multi-waveband observational datasets (from radio and millimetre to UV and X-rays) to investigate the nature of mass-loss via stellar winds in a broad range of astrophysical settings. Raman is the PI leading an international consortium on the e-MERLIN Legacy radio astronomy project, COBRaS, which will exploit over 300hrs of e-MERLIN radio data.

His research relates to many fundamental astrophysical processes, including radiation hydrodynamics and plasma physics, the environments of massive stellar clusters, the evolution of stars, the stellar feedback in galaxies.

Raman is also deeply dedicated to his Outreach and public engagement work. He has written over 20 popular science books, many of which are primarily targeted at young readers (but also appeal to parents, teachers and laypersons). His very latest book, ‘Planetarium’ is a stunning collaboration with the illustrator Chris Wormell, and is formally partnered with the Science Museum.