Terry Robinson

photoProfessor of Space Plasma Physics

BSc(Hons)(Birmingham), Cert Ed. (Oxon),
MSc.(Dist)(Leicester), PhD (Leicester)

Tel: 0116 252 3562

Email: txr@le.ac.uk

Office: Room F63, Physics & Astronomy


Professor Robinson graduated from Birmingham University in 1968 and then obtained a post-graduate Certificate in Education from Oxford in 1969. He then taught until 1976 in schools in the UK and Tanzania, returning to an academic career in 1977 after obtaining an MSc. in Experimental Space Physics from Leicester University. He was a lecturer in the Physics Department in the University of Dar-es-Salaam from 1977-1979. He returned to the UK in 1979 to undertake his PhD in Ionospheric Physics at Leicester University. He obtained his PhD for research into ionospheric modification by means of high power radio waves in 1983. He was appointed to a lectureship in the Physics Department at Leicester University in 1982. He was appointed to a readership in 1994 and to a personal chair in 1997.

Research interests

My main research interests involve waves on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. These range from large-scale waves in the Earth's atmosphere to small-scale plasma waves and electromagnetic waves in the ionosphere. I have made important contributions to the study the nonlinear interaction between high-power radio radio waves and the ionospheric plasma, as well as naturally occurring plasma wave-instabilities in the auroral ionosphere. Recently I have made contributions to the study of planetary period oscillations in Saturn's magnetosphere and Klein tunnelling of massless fermions in graphene. Currently I am working on some foundational aspects of quantization and the application of quantum formalism to non-physical systems. I have also contributed to a number of applied projects that are spin-offs from my research into highpower radiowave-plasma interactions. These include, artificial magneto-tellurics for oil prospecting, radio light sources, the simulation of transionospheric solar power satellite beams, and satellite altimetry using radars.


I have worked as a consultant with British Aeorospace on high power radio wave pulse propagation in plasma. I have also undertaken a number of research projects jointly funded by research councils and industry. These include oil prospecting with artificially excited ULF waves (Amarada-Hess and Schlumberger) and developing radio light sources.

Science Communication

I have made a number of contributions to radio and TV programs including BBC World service, Horizon and the Discovery channel.

Selected Publications

Robinson, TR, On Klein tunneling in graphene, Am. J. Phys., 80, 141-147, 2012.

Vickers, H, TR Robinson and IW McCrea, A method for improving plasma temperature estimates from incoherent scatter analysis during artificial ionospheric modification experiments, J. Geophys. Res., 115, A11316, doi:10.1029/2010JA015606, 2010.

Robinson TR, TK Yeoman, RS Dhillon, M Lester, EC Thomas, JD Thornhill, DM Wright, AP van Eyken and IW McCrea, First observations of SPEAR-induced artificial backscatter from CUTLASS and the EISCAT Svalbard radars, Ann. Geophys., 24, 291-309, 2006.

Robinson T R, Effect of multiple scatter on the propagation and absorption of electromagnetic waves in a field-aligned-striated magnetoplasma: Implications for ionospheric modification experiments, Ann. Geophys, 20, 41-55, 2002.

Arnold N F and T R Robinson, Solar cycle changes to planetary wave propagation and their influence on middle atmosphere circulation, Ann. Geophys., 16, 69-76, 1998.

Robinson T R, The heating of the high latitude ionosphere by high power radio waves, Phys. Rep. 179, 79-209, 1989.

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