Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics and Nonlinear Dynamics

CMS at Night

Pavilion F and Orion at night

About the Group

The group carries out research into a wide range of topics involving astrophysical fluid dynamics and non-linear patterns. Specific astrophysical interests include stellar magnetohydrodynamics (particularly dynamo theory, magnetoconvection and the physics of sunspots), accretion discs, protoplanetary systems, extrasolar planetary systems and galaxy clusters. Many of these areas of research are related to topics in non-linear dynamics, particularly pattern formation and bifurcation theory. More information about the group's research projects is available here. The Atomic Astrophysics group maintains a separate website.

The group's recent publication list and the most cited scientific publications written by group members are updated regularly and give an overview of our research activities.


(Oct 2013) The group welcomes new Postdoc Adrian Barker and new PhD students Vanessa Polito, Johnathan Ross and Riccardo Vanon.
(Sept 2013) We congratulate Gordon Ogilvie on being appointed to a Professorship of Mathematical Astrophysics.
(Oct 2012) New Postdoctoral vacancy: Applications are invited for the position of Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Astrophysics Group in DAMTP. Closing date 20 December 2012.
(Oct 2012) Dr. Henrik Latter has been appointed to a University Lectureship in Astrophysics in DAMTP.
(Oct 2012) Dr. Sijme-Jan Paardekooper has begun a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.
(Oct 2012) Professor Michael Proctor, FRS has been announced as Provost-elect of King's College.
(June 2012) We are pleased to congratulate Adrian Barker who was awarded a runner-up prize in the RAS Michael Penston competition 2011, for his PhD thesis 'Tidal Interactions between Planets and Stars'.
(Oct 2011) Our group bids a warm welcome to its newest members, Dr. Benjamin Favier and Dr Meng Xiang-Gruess.
Three new studies on Saturn's rings
Members of the Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics Group have announced the results of three studies concerning the formation and evolution of small moons in Saturn's rings.
1. The recent formation of Saturn's moonlets from viscous spreading of the main rings - Sebastien Charnoz, Julien Salmon and Aurelien Crida
2. Stochastic orbital migration of small bodies in Saturn's rings - Hanno Rein and John Papaloizou
3. Migration of a moonlet in a ring of solid particles: Theory and application to Saturn's propellers - Aurelien Crida, John Papaloizou, Hanno Rein, Sebastien Charnoz and Julien Salmon
Academic Couples
An article in The Guardian describes the live of academic couples including our group member Zoe Leinhardt. (March 2010)
A New Theory on Why the Sun Never Swallowed the Earth
See this TIME Magazine article and this slashdot post about some recent work by Sijme-Jan Paardekooper and Mordecai-Mark Mac Low. (January 2010)

PhD Applications

We welcome applications for PhD studentships. The group, together with the Atomic Astrophysics Group, has allocated funding from STFC for astrophysics research studentships that are available from October 2014. Studentships are normally allocated around Easter. However, depending on circumstances, some may be advertised at other times. To find out if you are eligible and for further information regarding the application procedure and funding please check out

Some possible projects in astrophysics and potential supervisors are listed on our research pages. Potential supervisors may also be contacted individually. Information relating to research projects undertaken by current PhD students can be found on the group members page where there are also links to personal websites where available.

The above links provide coverage of research activities within the group but please do not hesitate to contact via email Virginia Mullins (Group Secretary) at or one of the staff members listed if you have any other queries or require further information regarding research opportunities within the group.

Recent Scientific Publications

This list was automatically updated on July 1, 2013, and may contain some spurious entries. A longer version is also available.

Hydrodynamic instability in warped astrophysical discs
by Ogilvie, Gordon I.; Latter, Henrik N.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (6/2013)
Local and global dynamics of warped astrophysical discs
by Ogilvie, Gordon I.; Latter, Henrik N.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (6/2013)
Planet or Brown Dwarf? Inferring the Companion Mass in HD 100546 from the Wall Shape using Mid-Infrared Interferometry
by Mulders, Gijs D.; Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Panic, Olja; Dominik, Carsten; van Boekel, Roy; Ratzka, Thorsten; arXiv preprint (6/2013)
Global bifurcations to subcritical magnetorotational dynamo action in Keplerian shear flow
by Riols, A.; Rincon, F.; Cossu, C.; Lesur, G.; Longaretti, P.-Y.; Ogilvie, G. I.; Herault, J.; arXiv preprint (6/2013)
A unified normal mode approach to dynamic tides and its application to rotating Sun-like stars
by Ivanov, P. B.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Chernov, S. V.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (7/2013)
Dynamical tides excited in rotating stars of different masses and ages and the formation of close in orbits
by Chernov, S. V.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Ivanov, P. B.; arXiv preprint (6/2013)
Influence of the circumbinary disk gravity on planetesimal accumulation in the Kepler-16 system
by Marzari, F.; Thebault, P.; Scholl, H.; Picogna, G.; Baruteau, C.; Astronomy & Astrophysics (5/2013)
The formation of systems with closely spaced low-mass planets and the application to Kepler-36
by Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Rein, Hanno; Kley, Willy; arXiv preprint (4/2013)
The Stability of Dust-Laden Vortices
by Railton, A. D.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Instabilities and Structures in Proto-Planetary Disks (4/2013)
Vortex migration in protoplanetary discs
by Paardekooper, Sijme-Jan; Lesur, Geoffroy; Papaloizou, John C. B.; Instabilities and Structures in Proto-Planetary Disks (4/2013)
The formation and stability of vortices in protoplanetary disks
by Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Railton, A. D.; Instabilities and Structures in Proto-Planetary Disks (4/2013)
Interaction between massive planets on inclined orbits and circumstellar discs
by Xiang-Gruess, M.; Papaloizou, J. C. B.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (5/2013)
Large-scale N-body simulations of the viscous overstability in Saturn's rings
by Rein, Hanno; Latter, Henrik N.; Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (5/2013)