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Faculty of Mathematics




  • 2021-present: Professor of Astrophysics, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2018-2021: Reader in Astrophysics, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2016-2018: University Lecturer in Astrophysics, DAMTP, University of Cambridge
  • 2015-2016: Visiting Faculty Member, Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, USA)
  • 2007-2015: Assistant Professor, Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University (USA)
  • 2005-2007: Assistant Professor, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Toronto (Canada) 


Roman Rafikov is a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics research group. His current research interests include (but are not limited to) the following areas:

  • exoplanets (around single and binary stars; young, main sequence, and evolved stars)  
  • planet formation and dynamics
  • astrophysical fluid dynamics
  • accretion disks (protoplanetary, disks in binaries, quasars, etc.)
  • N-body and galactic dynamics
  • high-energy astrophysics

Selected Publications

  • Vartanyan, D., Garmilla, J. A., & Rafikov, R. R. (2016) "Tatooine Nurseries: Structure and Evolution of Circumbinary Protoplanetary Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 816, id. 94
  • Philippov, A. A., Rafikov, R. R., & Stone, J. M. (2016) "Spreading Layers in Accreting Objects: Role of Acoustic Waves for Angular Momentum Transport, Mixing, and Thermodynamics", The Astrophysical Journal, 817, id. 62
  • Macintosh, B., ..., Rafikov, R. R., et al (2015), "Discovery and spectroscopy of the young jovian planet 51 Eri b with the Gemini Planet Imager", Science, 350, Issue 6256, 64
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2015) "Viscosity Prescription for Gravitationally Unstable Accretion Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 804, id. 62
  • Silsbee, K. & Rafikov, R. R. (2015) "Birth Locations of the Kepler Circumbinary Planets", The Astrophysical Journal, 808, id. 58
  • Silsbee, K. & Rafikov, R. R. (2015) "Planet Formation in Binaries: Dynamics of Planetesimals Perturbed by the Eccentric Protoplanetary Disk and the Secondary", The Astrophysical Journal, 798, id. 71
  • Dong, R., Zhu, Z., Rafikov, R. R., & Stone, J. M. (2015) "Observational Signatures of Planets in Protoplanetary Disks: Spiral Arms Observed in Scattered Light Imaging Can be Induced by Planets", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 809, id. L5
  • Chabrier, G., Johansen, A., Janson, M., & Rafikov, R. (2014) "Giant Planet and Brown Dwarf Formation", Protostars and Planets VI, 619
  • Zhu, Z., Stone, J. M., Rafikov, R. R., & Bai, X. (2014), "Particle Concentration at Planet-induced Gap Edges and Vortices. I. Inviscid Three-dimensional Hydro Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 785, id. 122
  • Ju, W., Greene, J. E., Rafikov, R. R., et al (2013) "Search for Supermassive Black Hole Binaries in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Spectroscopic Sample", The Astrophysical Journal, 777, id. 44
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2013) "Structure and Evolution of Circumbinary Disks around Supermassive Black Hole Binaries", The Astrophysical Journal, 774, id. 144
  • Belyaev, M. A., Rafikov, R. R. & Stone, J. M. (2013) "Angular Momentum Transport by Acoustic Modes Generated in the Boundary Layer. II. Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations", The Astrophysical Journal, 770, id. 68
  • Belyaev, M. A., Rafikov, R. R. & Stone, J. M. (2013) "Angular Momentum Transport by Acoustic Modes Generated in the Boundary Layer. I. Hydrodynamical Theory and Simulations", The Astrophysical Journal, 770, id. 67
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2013) "Building Tatooine: Suppression of the Direct Secular Excitation in Kepler Circumbinary Planet Formation", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 764, id. L16
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2013) "Planet Formation in Small Separation Binaries: Not so Secularly Excited by the Companion", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 765, id. L8
  • Belyaev, M. A., Rafikov, R. R., & Stone, J.M. (2012) "Angular Momentum Transport and Variability in Boundary Layers of Accretion Disks Driven by Global Acoustic Modes", The Astrophysical Journal, 760, id. 22
  • Metzger, B. D., Rafikov, R. R., & Bochkarev, K. V. (2012) "Global models of runaway accretion in white dwarf debris discs", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 423, 505
  • Rafikov, R. R. & Petrovich, C. (2012) "The Origin of the Negative Torque Density in Disk-Satellite Interaction", The Astrophysical Journal, 747, id. 24
  • Dong, R., Rafikov, R., Zhu, Z., et al (2012), "The Missing Cavities in the SEEDS Polarized Scattered Light Images of Transitional Protoplanetary Disks: A Generic Disk Model", The Astrophysical Journal, 750, id. 161
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2011) "Runaway accretion of metals from compact discs of debris on to white dwarfs", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 416, L55
  • "Metal Accretion onto White Dwarfs Caused by Poynting-Robertson Drag on their Debris Disks", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 732, id. L3
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2011) "Constraint on the Giant Planet Production by Core Accretion", The Astrophysical Journal, 727, id. 86
  • Belyaev, M. A. & Rafikov, R. R. (2010) "The Dynamics of Dust Grains in the Outer Solar System", The Astrophysical Journal, 723, 1718
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2009) "Properties of Gravitoturbulent Accretion Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 704, 281
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2007) "Convective Cooling and Fragmentation of Gravitationally Unstable Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 662, 642
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2006) "Atmospheres of Protoplanetary Cores: Critical Mass for Nucleated Instability", The Astrophysical Journal, 648, 666
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2005) "Can Giant Planets Form by Direct Gravitational Instability?", The Astrophysical Journal, 621, L69
  • Rafikov, R. R. & Goldreich, P. (2005) "Magnetospheric Eclipses in the Double-Pulsar System PSR J0737-3039", The Astrophysical Journal, 631, 488
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2004) "Fast Accretion of Small Planetesimals by Protoplanetary Cores", The Astronomical Journal, 128, 1348
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2003), "The Growth of Planetary Embryos: Orderly, Runaway, or Oligarchic?",
    The Astronomical Journal, 125, 942
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2002) "Planet Migration and Gap Formation by Tidally Induced Shocks", The Astrophysical Journal, 572, 566
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2002) "Nonlinear Propagation of Planet-generated Tidal Waves", The Astrophysical Journal, 569, 997
  • Goodman, J. & Rafikov, R. R. (2001) "Planetary Torques as the Viscosity of Protoplanetary Disks", The Astrophysical Journal, 552, 793
  • Rafikov, R. R. (2001) "The local axisymmetric instability criterion in a thin, rotating, multicomponent disc", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 323, 445



Secular Evolution Driven by Massive Eccentric Disks/Rings: An Apsidally Aligned Case
I Davydenkova, RR Rafikov
– The Astrophysical Journal
High-contrast Polarimetry Observation of the T Tau Circumstellar Environment
Y Yang, S Mayama, SS Hayashi, J Hashimoto, R Rafikov, E Akiyama, T Currie, M Janson, M Momose, T Nakagawa, D Oh, T Kudo, N Kusakabe, L Abe, W Brandner, TD Brandt, JC Carson, S Egner, M Feldt, M Goto, CA Grady, O Guyon, Y Hayano, M Hayashi, T Henning et al.
– The Astrophysical Journal
1I/2017 ’Oumuamua-like Interstellar Asteroids as Possible Messengers from Dead Stars
RR Rafikov
– Astrophysical Journal
Fast and Slow Precession of Gaseous Debris Disks around Planet-accreting White Dwarfs
R Miranda, RR Rafikov
– The Astrophysical Journal
Disk Accretion Driven by Spiral Shocks
L Arzamasskiy, RR Rafikov
– The Astrophysical Journal
Evidence that the directly imaged planet HD 131399 Ab Is a Background Star
EL Nielsen, RJD Rosa, J Rameau, JJ Wang, TM Esposito, MA Millar-Blanchaer, C Marois, A Vigan, SM Ammons, E Artigau, VP Bailey, S Blunt, J Bulger, J Chilcote, T Cotten, R Doyon, G Duchêne, D Fabrycky, MP Fitzgerald, KB Follette, BL Gerard, SJ Goodsell, JR Graham, AZ Greenbaum, P Hibon et al.
– The Astronomical Journal
Protoplanetary Disks as (Possibly) Viscous Disks
RR Rafikov
– The Astrophysical Journal
Radial Transport and Meridional Circulation in Accretion Disks
AA Philippov, RR Rafikov
– Astrophysical Journal
L Wang, JE Greene, W Ju, RR Rafikov, JJ Ruan, DP Schneider
– Astrophysical Journal
Y Yang, J Hashimoto, SS Hayashi, M Tamura, S Mayama, R Rafikov, E Akiyama, JC Carson, M Janson, J Kwon, J De Leon, D Oh, M Takami, YW Tang, T Kudo, N Kusakabe, L Abe, W Brandner, TD Brandt, S Egner, M Feldt, M Goto, CA Grady, O Guyon, Y Hayano et al.
– The Astronomical Journal
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Research Groups

Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics and Nonlinear Dynamics




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