Bruce Bassett

© Christine Darve, Fermilab

After doing a BSc and MSc in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town (UCT) I went to SISSA in Trieste for the PhD, followed by a post-doc at Oxford and a year later, in 1999, moved as a senior lecturer to what became the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation at Portsmouth University. After a few years I took a wonderful sabbatical at Kyoto University and then returned to Cape Town to a joint position between the South African Astronomical Observatory and the Mathematics and Applied Mathematics Department at UCT where I am a Full Professor. Since the middle of 2010, I am also jointly in the AIMS research centre as a senior researcher helping to establish cosmology at the research centre.

What inspired you to study science, and astrophysics?

A book by James Jeans on the Philosophy of Science that I read in High School was pivotal in interesting me in physics, but I was lucky to grow up in a family environment where science, art and music were always in the air.

Do you have a role model in science?

My PhD advisor, Dennis Sciama, who was a wonderful person. Being around him was always a pleasure. His supervision style might be described as ‘magic without magic’ and among the many things I learned from him was the importance of networks and networking, something which we are definitely cultivating at the Research Centre.

A quote that inspires you?

“It will be hard at first. But everything is hard at first”
— Miyamoto Musashi

Research interests

Why is the universe like it is?

  • Theoretical and Observational Cosmology
  • Artificial intelligence and heuristic optimisation
  • How people learn
A list of all Bruce’s papers can be found here.

Favourite reference papers:

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7 Responses to Bruce Bassett

  1. Pingback: Group publications in November | Cosmology at AIMS

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  3. Damo Nair says:


    This is about your book on Relativity, “Introducing Relativity”. It is by far the clearest
    book I’ve ever read on Relativity. I’ve muddled thru many courses in Cosmology &
    Physics but could never gain a good grasp of Relativity.

    Now, are there any papers or articles that clearly explain Einstein’s Field Equations?
    I’m looking for really basic material.

    Damo Nair.

  4. Pingback: Publications in the 2nd half of 2011 | Cosmology at AIMS

  5. Dear Mr Bassett,

    I’ve been looking closer to the anomaly of those two Pioneer 10 and 11 shuttles launched in 1972 and in 1973 which unexpectedly have been pulled with an approximate acceleration of 1nm/s^2.

    Making sure it isn’t Solar wind, computer measurement issues, or fuel loss, no one gives himself the chance to expect that these two shuttles may be the only reason of their route changing. May they be perhaps attracting themselves in the middle of nowhere?

    I’m 21 years old and not really good at physics, but would you please inform me about some details as:

    1) – Initial and current weight of each of those shuttles.
    2) – Exact date and time of their atmosphere abandoning.
    3) – Nearest universe objects.
    4) – Ground speed. ¿Are they accelerating?.

    Looking forwards to solve some mysteries, sincerely yours,


  6. Pingback: Publication list 2013! | Cosmology at AIMS

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