Professor Andrew King


Professor of Astrophysics, Head of Theoretical Astrophysics Group

Room G46, Physics

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2072


Personal details

MA, MMath, PhD (Cambridge)

I researched for my PhD in relativistic cosmology, supervised by George Ellis at Cambridge, where I also worked with Stephen Hawking.

After positions at University College London and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Hamburg, I became a lecturer in theoretical astrophysics at the University of  Leicester, and was promoted to a readership and then a personal chair in 1992.

I have held long-term visiting positions at the Observatoire de Paris and currently at the Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam, and am Visiting Professor at Leiden University.

I am Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, one of the world's leading astronomy journals.

I was awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council in 1995, and a Gauss Professorship of the Goettingen Academy of Sciences in 1997.

In 2002, I received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and in 2014 the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society for investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics.


I currently teach course PA 4629: Supermassive Black Holes.



Stars, a Very Short Introduction, Andrew King, Oxford University Press, 2012

Astrophysical Flows, Jim Pringle and Andrew King, Cambridge University Press, 2007

Physics with Answers, A R King and O Regev, Cambridge University Press, 1997

Accretion Power in Astrophysics, J Frank, A R King and D J Raine, Cambridge University Press, 1st Edition 1985, 2nd Edition 1992, 3rd Edition 2002

Other selected publications

  • King A., Pounds K., Powerful Outflows and Feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 53, 115

    Nixon C., King A., Price D., Frank J., Tearing up the Disk: How Black Holes Accrete The Astrophysical Journal (2012) 757:L24 (Journal article)
  • Zubovas K., King A., Clearing Out a Galaxy The Astrophysical Journal (2012) 745:L34 (Journal article)
  • King A. R., Pringle J. E., Hofmann J. A., The evolution of black hole mass and spin in active galactic nuclei Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2008) 385:1621 (Journal article)
  • King A. R., Pringle J. E., Growing supermassive black holes by chaotic accretion Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006) 373:L90 (Journal article)
  • King A., Black Holes, Galaxy Formation, and the MBH-σ Relation The Astrophysical Journal (2003) 596:L27 (Journal article)
    You can also access a full ADS list of publications online.


    My research centres on astrophysical accretion, particularly on to black holes. This process uses gravity to release energy from matter in the most efficient way possible on large scales, and so powers the brightest objects in the universe. These include X-ray binaries, ultraluminous X-ray sources and gamma-ray bursters.

    Almost every galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its centre, and this has strongly affected its growth and evolution. I have been closely involved in understanding how this can occur, and in turn how the black hole gains mass and grows along with the galaxy. In following these interests, I have worked extensively on accretion disc structure, binary stellar evolution and galaxy evolution.

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    Contact Details

    Tel.: +44 (0)116 252 3506
    Fax: +44 (0)116 252 2770

    Department of Physics & Astronomy,
    University of Leicester,
    University Road,
    Leicester, LE1 7RH,
    United Kingdom.


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