Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Binney, James J.
Location Oxford University
Primary Field Astronomy
 Research Interests
James Binney with collaborators has focused on extracting scientific understanding from observations of galaxies and the gas within and around them. Galaxies are complex machines and the approach taken has been to build simple models that focus on particular aspects of their dynamics and evolution. Early work led to the prediction that elliptical galaxies are not ~necessarily flattened by rotation, and can be triaxial, and proposed a connection between atomic physics and the characteristic length and mass scales of galaxies. This led to models of the diffuse gas content of clusters of galaxies, and the pioneering of the view that this gas is kept hot by jets shot out by supermassive black holes. Models of hot gas around galaxies like ~ours led to a picture in which galactic fountains powered by supernovae sustain star formation in many galaxies by cooling circumgalactic gas. Modelling cold gas in our Galaxy led to the conclusion that our Galaxy is barred. Techniques were developed to bring the power of angle-action variables to bear on galactic dynamics. They yielded new chemo-dynamical models of galaxies that are currently being fitted to data from the Gaia satellite and large ground-based surveys of our ~Galaxy. ~

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