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Fellows Directory

Rodney Davies

Professor Rodney Davies CBE FRS


Elected: 1992


Rodney Davies made major contributions to our understanding of the large-scale structure of the Universe. His studies of the line emission from neutral hydrogen in samples of galaxies to redshifts of 6000 km s–1 have given important data about departures from the smooth Hubble flow. His spectral measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) show that on the 5- to 8-degree angular scale, the background is smooth at least to a level of delta T/T = 2 x 10–5 and that any detectable fluctuations are galactic in origin. On the arc-minute angular scale, he has shown that the CMB is smooth to a level of delta T/T = 6 x 10–5. These results on the Hubble flow and CMB place critical constraints on the theories of galaxy formation in the evolving Universe. Rodney was also known for his pioneering research on the hydrogen line emission, which has had an important bearing on our understanding of the magnetic field structure and tidal processes in galaxies.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Cosmic microwave background radiation - Plank satellite:  Galactic interstellar medium - spinning dust