Carolin Crawford shares clusters of galaxies are the largest organised structures in the Universe that appear gravitationally bound, containing thousands of galaxies all confined to a volume of space only tens of millions of light years across. They are laboratories for extreme galaxy evolution, as many of the processes that can change the structure of galaxies are accelerated in such a crowded environment. Clusters of galaxies also provide important constraints for cosmology: from both the way they are grouped into superclusters that trace the ‘large scale structure’ of Universe; and the fact that their internal properties lead to powerful confirmation for the need for dark energy. For download and transcript versions of this lecture, please visit the event's page on the Gresham College website: Clusters of Galaxies."
Professor Carolin Crawford
Outreach Officer at the Instituteof Astronomy and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, Professor Carolin Crawford is one of Britain's foremost science communicators.
After receiving her PhD from NewnhamCollege, Cambridge, Professor Crawford went on to a series of fellowships from BalliolCollege, Oxford, Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Royal Society. In 2004 she was appointed as a Fellow and College Lecturer at EmmanuelCollege, Cambridge, where she is now also the undergraduate Admissions Tutor for the Physical Sciences. Since 2005 she has combined her college role with that of Outreach Officer at the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Crawford’s primary research interests are in combining X-ray, optical and near-infrared observations to study the physical processes occurring around massive galaxies at the core of clusters of galaxies. In particular, she observes the complex interplay between the hot intra-cluster medium, filaments of warm ionized gas, cold molecular clouds, star formation and the radio plasma flowing out from the central supermassive black hole.
In 2009 Professor Crawford’s outstanding abilities at science communication were recognized by a Women of Outstanding AchievementAward by the UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, presented for “communication of science with a contribution to society.”
Appointed as the 36thGresham Professor of Astronomy in 2011, Professor Crawford looks forward to presenting her Gresham lectures wherein she plans “to showcase the very latest developments and ideas in astronomy and cosmology, whilst putting them into the context of the process of scientific discovery.”