Professor Ralph Sutherland is a theoretical astrophysicist at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
He is a world-leading expert in nebulae and astrophysical plasmas, has co-authored a textbook, and created and provided the astrophysical community with sophisticated computer codes for fluid dynamics and plasma spectroscopy and plasma composition and physical properties.
Professor Sutherland’s work on how astrophysical plasma cools from millions of degrees and the appearance of both star ionised nebulae and hypersonic shockwaves has been used globally. He is known for his theoretical work and extensive collaboration with groups using all the world’s leading telescope facilities.
He was the school public outreach officer from 1996-2004 and has been at the University since 1996. He gained his PhD at ANU in 1993 and spent time in Boulder Colorado before returning to a long career at ANU. He has worked with black holes, exploding galaxies, the most massive stars as well as hypersonic shockwaves and the chemical enrichment of the universe.