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Fellows Directory

Peter Goldreich

Professor Peter Goldreich ForMemRS

Foreign Member

Elected: 2004


Peter Goldreich is renowned for his many collaborative insights into astrophysical topics as diverse as planetary rotation, pulsars, and helioseismology — the science of ‘sunquakes’. He correctly predicted that ‘shepherd’ moons maintain Saturn’s F ring. Peter’s research on the evolution and migration of planets is particularly important considering that over 1,000 planetary systems have already been discovered around stars other than the Sun.

Peter is an expert in the theory of resonances — the mathematics underlying the periodic reinforcement of the gravitational forces of two or more bodies orbiting a larger one. As well as Saturn’s rings, the theory helps to explain galactic spiral arms and ‘hot jupiters’ — Jupiter-like planets found very close to the star that they orbit.

The immense value of Peter’s research has garnered international recognition. His many awards include the US President’s National Medal of Science in 1995, the Grande Médaille of the French Académie des sciences in 2006, and Hong Kong’s Shaw Prize in 2007. The asteroid 3805 Goldreich is named in his honour.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Interstellar masers, MHD turbulence, Planetary dynamics, Pulsars, Solar and stellar oscillations, Spiral structure in disk galaxies


  • Shaw Prize

    For achievements in theoretical astrophysics and planetary sciences.