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Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Prof Ray Sharples, BSc, PhD, FRAS, CPhys, MInstP

Personal web page

Professor in the Department of Physics
Telephone: 43719 / 44819
Room number: ocw031 / Netpark

(email at


I am a member of the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation which develops advanced instrumentation for large ground- and space-based telescopes, with spinoffs into imaging for the life sciences, fusion diagnostics and remote sensing. I am also a member of the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy. My technical interests are in infrared integral field spectroscopy, adaptive optics, fusion diagnostics and hyperspectral remote sensing. On the observational astronomy side I work on extragalactic globular cluster systems as probes of galaxy formation theories and on the evolution of galaxies in clusters and the field. I was the Principal Investigator for KMOS, a £15M multi-object, near-infrared, integral field spectrometer constructed for the 8.2m ESO Very Large Telescope in Chile, and for SALT-HRS, a high-resolution echelle spectrograph for the 11m diameter South African Large Telescope. I am currently supervising 6 PhD students working in fusion science & technology and astronomy.

Responsibilities within department

Teaching activity

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Astronomical instrumentation
  • Fusion diagnostics
  • Observational cosmology
  • Remote sensing


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Gardner, JP, Sharples, RM, Frenk, CS & Carrasco, BE (1998). The K-band luminosity function of galaxies. In New Horizons from Multi-Wavelength Sky Surveys Proceedings of the 179th Symposium of the International Astronomical Union, Held in Baltimore, U.S.A., August 26–30, 1996. Brian J. McLean, Daniel A. Golombek, Jeffrey J. E. Hayes & Harry E. Payne 278-280.

Conference Paper

Conference Proceeding

Journal Article

Related Links

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Science: Education, industry & the community: astronomy
  • Science: Education, industry & the community: cosmology
  • Science: Education, industry & the community: instrumentation for astronomy

Selected Grants

  • 2014: Durham Astronomy Consolidated Grant (CfAI) (£896451.20 from STFC)
  • 2013: A programme of astronomical instrumentation and high energy astrophysics at Durham 2013-2015 (£961829.80 from STFC)