December 14, 2009
Springer author wins highly respected physics award for research on galaxies and dark matter in the universe
Dec. 14 -- The astrophysicist Volker Springel has been honored with this year's Klung Wilhelmy Weberbank Prize for Physics for his important research in astrophysics. The prize, worth 100,000 euros, is awarded every two years to a physicist whose research shows particularly great promise of making outstanding contributions to science in the future.
Volker Springel wrote the leading article Superrechner in der Kosmologie in the December issue of the Springer journal Informatik-Spektrum on the subject of supercomputers in cosmology. He is a scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany.
Volker Springel's research area deals with the scientific origin of the universe, including research on elementary particles (dark matter) and force fields (dark energy). Science has yet to answer the question of whether the theoretical calculations on the development of the universe from the Big Bang 13.6 billion years ago to its present state correspond to the facts. To do so, astrophysicists need supercomputers and IT methods to simulate the theoretical calculations. Springel has developed a supercomputer package for this very purpose, which is now a standard tool in astrophysics around the world.
The Klung Wilhelmy Weberbank Prize is one of the most highly esteemed privately funded scientific awards in Germany. It has been awarded since 2001 in cooperation with the Otto Klung Foundation at the Free University of Berlin and the Weberbank. The Dr. Wilhelmy Foundation joined the collaboration in 2007. The prize is awarded to promising young physicists and chemists on an annually alternating basis.
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