Recognition for Professor Jorge Peñarrubia

Congratulations to Prof Jorge Peñarrubia who has become a member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences.

Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain

The Real Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales de España (Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain), has made dark matter researcher Professor Jorge Peñarrubia a member.

The Spanish organisation dates back to 1847, and was created to ‘promote the study and research of the exact sciences, physical, chemical, geological and biological, and their applications, as well as to spread this knowledge’. Membership includes around 400 ‘academicos’, 88 of whom are based outside Spain, with several Nobel laureates among them. Historic members include Michael Faraday, Alexander von Humboldt, Lord Rayleigh, Albert Einstein, Arnold Sommmerfeld, Hendrik Lorentz, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Schroedinger, Werber Heisenberg, to name a few.

The nature of dark matter

Professor Peñarrubia’s research focuses on the nature of dark matter. Scientists have mounting evidence that dark matter is the main component of the Universe, yet do not know what it is. Professor Peñarrubia investigates how visible objects, like stars, move in the gravitational field generated by dark matter particles. To do so, he uses statistical-dynamical models, which he then compares against observations of the Milky Way, our home galaxy.

Reflecting on this recognition, Professor Peñarrubia said:

Becoming a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences represents a great honour in many ways. At a personal level, it feels very rewarding to receive such an important recognition from the country where I was born. At a professional level, it is an opportunity to strengthen the scientific ties between the United Kingdom, Scotland in particular, and Spain. This task has become crucial after Brexit, which threatens long-existing, successful collaborations between the two countries - and worse - thwarts future ones.