2023 Kylafis Lecturer

Balbus Announcement Date : 

The 5th annual Nick Kylafis Distinguished Lecture will be given for 2023 by the distinguished astrophysicist Professor Steven Balbus, the Savilian Chair of Astronomy at Oxford University (UK).

BalbusProfessor Balbus’ lecture, which will follow the public ceremony, will be in English and it is entitled “Understanding black holes from stars destroyed by tidal forces”. It will take place on Thursday 19 October 2023 at 14.00 at the Central Amphitheatre of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH), with simultaneous webcast. Professor Balbus is internationally recognized for his seminal contributions in theoretical astrophysics and more specifically those related to accretion processes around supermassive black holes, gravitational instabilities in the interstellar medium and the theory of thermal processes in magnetised dilute plasmas. The phenomenon of “magnetorotational instability” is also known as «Balbus-Hawley» effect in his honor. In addition, he has received a number of highly prestigious awards including:

  • Wolfson Research Merit Award of the Royal Society, 2013
  • Shaw Prize (with J.F. Hawley), 2013 (known as the “Nobel of the East” carrying an award of $1.2 million)
  • Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, 2015
  • Fellow of the Royal Society, 2016
  • Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2020
  • Dirac Medal, 2021

From 2004 until 2012 Professor Balbus was also «Professeur des Universités» at École Normale Supérieure in Paris (France).

The “Nick Kylafis Lectureship” was established by the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas in 2019 in order to honor Nick Kylafis, Professor Emeritus at the Dept. of Physics of the Univ. of Crete, on the occasion of his 70th birthday, for his 35 years of scientific contributions and leadership towards the founding and continuous improvement of the astrophysics group at the University of Crete and FORTH. This lifelong commitment has been instrumental in the international recognition of the research activities of the Crete astrophysics group, which led to the creation of the Institute of Astrophysics at FORTH in 2018. Under the auspices of the Lectureship, a distinguished theoretical astrophysicist is invited annually at FORTH for a brief visit. The Institute of Astrophysics anticipates that establishing the "N. Kylafis Lecture" will attract distinguished Astrophysicists to Crete, who will inspire with their presence the younger generations of scientists trained at FORTH and the University of Crete, and communicate to the wider scientific community of Greece the latest achievements in the rapidly evolving field of Theoretical Astrophysics.

The ceremony and lecture were also streamed online and are available via the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkpBOOwNOxc