Jeremiah Horrocks Institute

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute was originally established as the Jeremiah Horrocks Observatory, which was opened in 1927.

The Institute builds on a long tradition of astronomy in the Preston area dating back to the early 17th century with the pioneering work of the father of English astronomy, Jeremiah Horrocks. He was the first to predict, and then observe, a transit of Venus. The Institute now brings together over 50 academic staff, research fellows and PhD students from across the world in an intellectually vibrant atmosphere. A steady stream of visitors and seminars provides a link from the Institute to the international community. Our members have received prestigious national and international awards such as the 2020 “Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics”, received by Prof. Derek Ward-Thompson as member of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration, and the 2020 “Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award”, received by Dr Danielle Bewsher and Dr Daniel Brown as members of the STEREO Heliospheric Imager team.

Our research projects cover:

Solar physics

The solar research carried out at the JHI focuses on studying the Sun and how the Sun's activity affects the Earth. This is carried out using data from space-based observatories coupled with state-of-the-art computational modelling.

Stellar astrophysics

Investigating the formation of stars and planets through observations and computational models, stellar structure, asteroseismology, massive star evolution and supernovae.

Galactic and extragalactic astrophysics

A combination of computational, theoretical and observational studies of galaxy formation and evolution, tackling such diverse subjects as galactic nuclei and jets, galaxy dynamics, galaxy structure, stellar populations, as well as the large-scale structure of the Universe and cosmology.

All three broad areas are underpinned by a common interest in fundamental physical processes. The work of the JHI is advancing our knowledge and understanding of the Universe through research and education.

Our academics also undertake research into Condensed Matter Physics, working in the following 3 research groups:

Magnetics Research - Magnetic materials research currently focusses on two main themes; Multiferroic composite materials and Magnetic nanoparticles.

Experimental Nanophysics - We investigate fundamental physics on the nanoscale. Using advanced microscopy and other techniques which can generate direct images of atoms and molecules and tell us which elements they are made of.

Molecular Biophysics - Our focus is on understanding structure function relationships of amphiphilic bioactive molecules and the design of new biomaterials.

To find out more about the Institute, its seminars, meetings, workshops and public events, please see the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute website.

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