Kinwah Wu 

Professor (Chair) of Theoretical Astrophysics and Head of Theory, Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London

Contact Information

MSSL, University College London
Holmbury St Mary
Surrey RH5 6NT
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 1483 204127
Fax: +44 1483 278312


1989 PhD Lousiana State University
1984   MSc Lousiana State University
1983  BSc(Hon) Chinese University of Hong Kong 

Professional History:

2006 - present: Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics, University College London
2001 - 2006: Reader in Astrophysics, University College London
1997 - 2001: ARC Australian Research Fellow, University of Sydney
1992 - 1996: Research Fellow, University of Sydney
1990 - 1992: NAS/NRC Research Fellow, NASA-MSFC
1989 - 1990: postdoctoral fellow, Australian National University

Honorary Positions:

2005 - now:Honorary Professor, Physics Department, University of Hong Kong
2002 - now:  Honorary Associate, School of Physics, University of Sydney

Awards and Honours:

NAS/NRC Research Fellowship (1989)
Australian Research Fellowship (1997)
NSW Expatriate Researcher Award (2006)
Royal Society Kan Tong Po Professorship (2008)

Research Areas: 

Kinwah Wu is a theoretical astrophysicist. His current research interests include general relativistic radiative transfer, polarized radiative transfer, Monte-carlo simulations of radiative transport, black holes, jets in AGN, accreting compact stars, X-ray sources in external galaxies, ultra-compact double degenerate binaries and dynamics of large-scale multi-component self-gravitating systems. He has published more than 130 research papers in refereed journals on these subjects.

Selected Publications: 

  1. McNamara, A. L., Kuncic, Z., Wu, K., 2009, MNRAS, 395, 1507
    "X-ray polarization in relativistic jets" NASA ADS
  2. Saxton, C. J., Wu, K., 2008, MNRAS, 391, 1403
    "Radial structure, inflow and central mass of stationary radiative galaxy clusters" NASA ADS
  3. Fuerst, S. V., Wu, K., 2007, A&A, 474, 55
    "Line emission from optically thick relativistic accretion tori" NASA ADS
  4. Fender, R. F. Wu, K., Johnston, H. M., et al., 2004, Nature, 427, 222
    "An ultra-relativitic outflow from a neutron star accreting gas from a companion" NASA ADS
  5. Willes, A. J., Wu, K., 2004, A&A, 432, 1091
    "Electron-cyclotron maser emission from white-dwarf pairs and white-dwarf planetary systems" NASA ADS
  6. Wu, K., Cropper, M., Ramsay, G., Sekiguchi, K., 2002, MNRAS, 331, 221
    "An electrically powered binary star?" NASA ADS
  7. Wu, K., Soria, R., Hunstead, R. W., Johnston, H. M., 2001, MNRAS, 320, 177
    "Optical spectroscopy of GX339-4 during the high-soft and low-hard states - II line ionization and emission region" NASA ADS
  8. Tennant, A. F., Wu, K., Ghosh, K. K. et al., 2001, ApJ, 549, L43
    "Properties of the Chandra sources in M81" NASA ADS
  9. Wu, K., 2001, PASA, 18, 443
    "Populations of X-ray binaries and dynamical history of their host galaxies" NASA ADS
  10. Wu, K., 2000, Space Science Review, 93, 611
    "Accretion onto magnetic white dwarfs" NASA ADS
  11. Li, J., Wu, K., Wickramasinghe, D. T., 1994, MNRAS, 268, 61
    "Reduced magnetic braking in synchronously rotating magnetic cataclysmic variables" NASA ADS
  12. Wu, K., Chanmugam, G., Shaviv, G., 1994, ApJ, 426, 664
    "Structure of steady state accretion shocks with several cooling functions: closed integral-form solution" NASA ADS