Inaugural Lecture: Professor Adrian J Barker, School of Mathematics

Join us for our next Inaugural Lecture on 8 May as we welcome Adrian J Barker, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the School of Mathematics.

An inaugural lecture is a significant milestone in any academic’s career, recognising their promotion to Professor. It also offers an opportunity for our new professorial colleagues to showcase their work and innovative research with a broad audience, including members of the public, family, friends, and colleagues.  

This lecture is the latest in a new series across the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, celebrating those who have joined the University to offer ever greater teaching, research, and expertise across our eight Schools. 

About this lecture

In his lecture titled “Tidal flows in extrasolar planets and stars”, Professor Barker will discuss extrasolar planets, which can orbit their stars so closely that gravitational tidal interactions can affect their orbits and rotations, potentially leading to planetary destruction.  

Astronomers have discovered more than 5,000 extrasolar planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. These have a diverse range of properties, and many appear to orbit their stars much more closely than Mercury orbits our Sun. A particularly interesting class of these are “hot Jupiters”, which are as massive as Jupiter but orbit their stars very closely, often taking less than 10 Earth days. 

Gravitational tidal forces can affect the orbits of these planets and the rotations of their stars, in some cases even leading to planetary destruction. In this talk, Professor Barker will review some of the fascinating properties of extrasolar planets discovered to date, before describing the role of tidal forces in shaping the properties of close-in planets, and binary stars. 

About our speaker

Adrian J Barker, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the School of Mathematics, studied his MPhys in Theoretical Physics at University of Leeds between 2003 and 2007, before undertaking his PhD in Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge’s DAMTP from 2007 to 2011. During his time there, he was named runner-up in the Royal Astronomical Society’s Michael Penston Thesis Prize for 2011. 

Professor Barker then embarked on several postdoctoral positions, including with DAMTP, as a CIERA Fellow at Northwestern University (2011-2013), and as a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow (2014-2017) at DAMTP, before returning to Leeds in 2016. 

Book your place 

The lecture will take place in the Esther Simpson Building at the University of Leeds, with arrival and registration from 3.45pm in the café, and the lecture commencing at 4pm in Lecture Theatre 1.01. This will be followed by a drinks reception in the Esther Simpson café from 5pm. 

Booking is required to attend this event – you can do so at our dedicated ticket portal.  

Please book by Friday 3 May.

If you have any questions please contact the EPS CPD, Conference and Events team via