Leon Mestel : biography

5 August 1927 -

Research career

Mestel's research interests are in the area of astrophysics, including: stellar structure, stellar evolution, star formation, cosmic magnetism and pulsar electrodynamics.

At the time he was completing his Ph.D, Mestel took a position as an ICI Research Fellow at the Department of Mathematics in the University of Leeds, carrying out research here in the three-year period from 1951 to 1954. Also during this period, in 1952, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS). Mestel then spent the academic year of 1954-5 as a Commonwealth Fund Fellow at the Observatory at Princeton University.

Returning to England, he was a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Cambridge for eleven years from 1955 to 1966, first as an assistant lecturer (1955–1958) and then as a full lecturer (1958–1966). While at Cambridge, he was a Fellow of St John's College from 1957 to 1966. This time at Cambridge included a period as a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, during the academic year of 1961-2.

In 1963, he published a paper describing a phenomenon that occurs during galaxy and star formation that came to be known as a 'Mestel disk'., Leon Mestel, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 126, p.553, 1963

Mestel left Cambridge in 1966 after being appointed to the position of professor at the University of Manchester, but before taking up his appointment there he spent the academic year of 1966-7 as JFK Fellow at the Weizmann Institute, Israel. Returning to England, he spent six years as professor of applied mathematics in Manchester (1967–1973). The fourth and final stage of his career was as professor of astronomy at the University of Sussex, a position he took up in 1973 and held for nineteen years., University of Sussex, accessed 06/11/2010

Mestel was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1977., Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Jul., 1977), pp. 107-112 He retired in 1992, becoming Emeritus Professor at Sussex., Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sussex, accessed 06/11/2010

Living octopus

Living octopus

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