Graham Smith: physicist, astronomer, educator, ...

Image credits, left to right: [1] Art: Measuring mistakes by Ulrike Kuchner. Lapel pin: CepheidStudio. [2] EROJ003707+0909.5, aka the space-invader. [3] Mapping dark matter with gravitational lensing. [4] Searching for gravitationally lensed gravitational waves.

Welcome to my web-site

I am a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham. My academic and professional journey began in schools run by Kirklees Council in West Yorkshire, and includes being taught by Derek Fry. When I left home, I was the first member of my family to attend university. Since then I have worked and studied in Birmingham, Chicago, Durham, Leeds, London, Oxford, and Pasadena.

Today my main research focus is multi-messenger gravitational lensing, aiming to detect and do novel science with gravitationally lensed cosmic explosions (associated with the death of stars and mergers of compact objects) in the distant universe. The messengers that we have detected / are striving to detect include optical and infrared photons, gamma- and X-rays, radio waves, gravitational waves, and potentially neutrinos. The overall aim is to investigate big questions, including the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the physics of stellar death and compact objects, and testing fundamental physics in new regimes.

This is an exciting time for multi-messenger gravitational lensing, as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (Rubin) nears first light, and other powerful facilities are on the horizon (e.g. the Square Kilometre Array) or rapidly improving their sensitivity (e.g. LIGO, Virgo, and KAGRA). My group leads research on the role of electromagnetic observations in achieving the first multi-messenger gravitational lensing detection, including these recent publications. I contribute more broadly by co-Chairing Rubin's Strong Lensing Science Collaboration (SLSC) with Simon Birrer, supporting the LSST:UK consortium as our Commissioning Scientist, and as a member of Rubin's commissioning team (SITCom).

My approach to education reflects my passion for astronomy as a vehicle for helping people to make data-driven decisions in modern society. This reflects my broad background, which includes time in the business world and an Honourary Lectureship at the Bradford School of Management.

I was most active in public engagement when I was Director of the University of Birmingham's Observatory, and co-founded Astronomy in the City. This included a few TV appearances, with this favourite eclipsing them all!

Whilst I share positives here, I have also endured hard times that shape me today, and remind me of If-.

Inclusive Educator

Vera C. Rubin Observatory

Strong Lensing Science Collaboration