George Efstathiou has a versatile record of achievement in extragalactic astronomy and cosmology. He was a pioneer in computer simulations of galaxy formation and large-scale structure; the so-called ‘CDM’ models, which he and his collaborators developed in great detail, became a benchmark against which all relevant data were compared. His calculations, with Dick Bond, of how the anisotropy and polarisation of background radiation can discriminate among different models for the origin of cosmic structure, have provided a firm framework for interpreting and optimising microwave experiments.
George spearheaded the first automated survey of galaxy clustering, and is playing a leading role in exploring the three-dimensional distribution of galaxies via redshift surveys. He has also contributed, both observationally and theoretically, to our understanding of individual galaxies. George stands out from his contemporaries because of his powerful combination of computational, analytical and observational skills, and has energetically deployed these skills on ambitious and well-judged projects.
Interest and expertise
Astronomy and physics
For many outstanding contributions to our understanding of the early Universe, in particular his pioneering computer simulations, observations of galaxy clustering and studies of the fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background.