UCL News


Reach for the stars

19 July 2004

Professor Ofer Lahav has been appointed Perren Chair of Astronomy within UCL's Department of Physics & Astronomy.

Professor Ofer Lahav

Born and educated in Israel, Ofer Lahav got his PhD in 1988 from the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge. After a Post-doc at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton he returned to Cambridge as a faculty member, studying the distribution of galaxies and Cosmology. During this time he was also a Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge. He also spent extended research periods in Japan, Australia, the USA and Israel. He currently holds a Senior Research Fellowship from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.

Professor Lahav describes his move to UCL as a tremendous opportunity that offers many interesting challenges. A particular challenge would be to develop a new group in Cosmology. He says: "I'm excited by the fact that UCL encourages this area as well as inter-departmental collaborations. UCL has demonstrated a substantial commitment to the Department of Physics & Astronomy by appointing two new lecturers in Cosmology."

2dF Map

The Professor has worked with the Anglo-Australian collaboration group that developed the Two Degree Field system (known as 2dF) to yield a detailed three-dimensional map of the distribution of 230,000 galaxies. The survey has helped to confirm many ideas about the Universe, for instance the existence of 'dark matter' and 'dark energy'.

Professor Lahav explains that recent observations suggest that ordinary matter in the form of atoms only takes up four per cent of the Universe, while 26 per cent is made up of 'Cold Dark Matter' which is not yet understood. The remaining 70 per cent consists of the even more mysterious 'Dark Energy', a notion that was first proposed by Einstein but is still not fully explained. Professor Lahav intends to study further the different components the Universe is made of.

Professor Lahav said: "I am looking forward to establishing Cosmology at UCL. I am also excited to be playing a part in launching a Centre for Planetary Systems & Astrobiology and heading the Astrophysics group from October 2004."

Images: Top - Professor Ofer Lahav. Bottom - 2dF Map.

To find out more about Professor Lahav, use the link below.

Link: Professor Lahav