School of Chemistry & Physics

Prof Yin-Zhe Ma

Full Professor

Prof Ma’s research is on the cutting-edge frontier of astrophysics and cosmology. He uses the cosmic microwave background radiation and large-scale structure data to study the evolution of the Universe at different epochs and to understand the physical nature of dark energy and dark matter.

Research interests

  • Cosmology in Radio wavelength: Epoch of Reionization, 21-cm intensity mapping

  • Extragalatic Astronomy: galaxy peculiar velocity field, thermal and kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect, dynamics of local group, near-field cosmology 

  • Theoretical Cosmology: the cosmic microwave background radiation, observational tests of inflation 

Research profiles

Research overview

Prof Yin-Zhe Ma’s research focusses on observational and theoretical cosmology aimed at understanding the fundamental laws of the Universe and uncovering the nature of dark energy and dark matter. He works on epoch of reionization of the Universe, cosmic microwave background radiation, and large-scale structure of the Universe

Current projects

  • Hydrogen Epoch Reionization Array (HERA): Calibration and power spectra analysis
  • Square Kilometer Array (SKA) team: EoR, HI, Cosmology Science working groups
  • Rubin Observatory (LSST) science team
  • Planck satellite science team: CMB studies
  • Many aspects of theoretical cosmology

Associations/ Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor: Purple Mountain Observatory China, National Astronomical Observatory China
  • Full Member of South Africa Institute of Physics
  • Full Member of Royal Astronomical Society
  • Member of the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (MASSAf)


  • Prof Amanda Weltman, University of Cape Town
  • Prof Ludovic Van Waerbeke, University of British Columbia
  • Prof Aaron Parsons, University of California at Berkeley
  • Prof Xuelei Chen, National Astronomical Observatory, China
  • Prof Douglas Scott, University of British Columbia
  • Prof Gary Hinshaw, University of British Columbia
  • Prof Clive Dickinson, The University of Manchester
  • Prof Richard Battye, The University of Manchester
  • Prof Hongjian He, Shanghai JiaoTong University
  • Prof Di Li, National Astronomical Observatory, China
  • Prof Rene Breton, The University of Manchester


CGTN interviews Prof Yin-Zhe Ma at the Nobel Symposium Outreach Talk in the University of the Western Cape.

Prof Yin-Zhe Ma and his research group in 2018.

The cosmic evolution of 13.7 billion years is the major research objective of Prof Ma’s group.

Professor Ma is also heavily involved in South Africa’s Hydrogen Epoch Reionization Array project and Square Kilometre Array.

Professor Ma led a South Africa student and scholars’ delegation to visit the Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in GuiZhou Province of China in the summer of 2018, and participated “Radio Astronomy Forum” 2018.

Professor Ma is also heavily involved and leading several projects in cosmic microwave background radiation, using the data to understand the physics of the early Universe. He is a core team member of Planck and future CMB Stage-4 survey.

Professor Ma explained the discovery of “missing baryons” in the Universe to SABC news in 2015.