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Professor Richard Hills

Professor Richard Hills

Emeritus Professor of Radio Astronomy

Room G20, Battcock Centre for Experimental Astrophysics
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337369


Richard Hills has spent most of his career working on the development of radio astronomy at millimetre wavelengths, the part of the spectrum that lies between radio and the infra-red regions. These wavelengths are particularly useful for studying the formation of new stars and planets, which is still taking place in our own galaxy, and for observing the initial assembly of galaxies, most of which happened more than 10 billion years ago, as well as for making observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background signals, which originated at an even earlier epoch.  He was Project Scientist for the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, which was built on the 4200m high Mauna Kea in Hawaii in the 1980s, and continued to work with that telescope and the development of new instruments for it for many years.  He also worked on the ESA projects Herschel and Planck, acting as Telescope Scientist for the latter during the development phase.  From 2007 to 2012 he was Project Scientist of the Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) in Chile, with responsibility for ensuring that the telescope met the requirements of the scientists and for overseeing the scientific commissioning.  He continues to work on a number of technical aspects of ALMA and other telescopes around the world. 

Research Interests

Astronomy and instrumentation at millimetre wavelengths
The physical processes associated with star-formation
High precision antennas and high-frequency receivers