Faculty Type: 
Active Faculty
Professor of Physics

Office: Room 212
Physics & Astrophysics Bldg

Mailing Address:
Physics & Astrophysics Bldg Room 212
452 Lomita Mall
Stanford, CA  94305-4085

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What is the physics of the largest objects in the Universe? What do these objects tells us about the nature of our Universe?

Professor Allen's research examines the physics of galaxies and galaxy clusters, examining how they form and evolve with time. He has pioneered the use of galaxy clusters as cosmological probes, investigating the natures of dark matter, the weakly interacting yet dominant matter component of the universe, and dark energy, the driving force behind cosmic acceleration. Intrigued by why the largest galaxies are not as bright as theory had predicted, Allen and collaborators shed new light on connections to their central supermassive black holes and the formation of relativistic jets, which heat the galactic gas and prevent further star formation.

Professor Allen has been involved in the construction and utilization of some of the most powerful galaxy cluster catalogs ever made. His research team is carrying out a broad range of multi-wavelength observations, including X-ray, optical, and radio measurements, and deep gravitational lensing studies.

Current areas of focus:

- observational cosmology
- galaxy and galaxy cluster astrophysics
- future ground and space-based experiments

Career History

  • Ph. D., University of Cambridge, 1995
  • P.P.A.R.C. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, 1994-1996
  • Charles & Katherine Darwin Research Fellow, Cambridge, 1996-1999
  • Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, 1999-2004
  • Assistant Professor, Stanford Physics Department and SLAC, 2005-2008
  • Associate Professor, Stanford Physics Department and SLAC, 2008-present


  • Co-recipient, Bruno Rossi Prize, American Astronomical Society, 2008