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Cluster welcomes Prof. Dr. Jesper Sommer-Larsen

The Excellence Cluster Universe is pleased to announce a new guest in its research team. Prof. Dr. Jesper Sommer-Larsen, a renowned theoretical astrophysicist from Copenhagen, Denmark, will contribute significantly to the Cluster's research in the fields of Dark Components, Black Holes and the accretion of Heavy Elements in the Universe. As a consequence he will closely collaborate with Research Areas E, F and G. One of his special research interests will be examining the properties of very young galaxies.

Before entering the Universe Cluster, Sommer-Larsen was a Senior Scientist in the Dark Cosmology Center in Copenhagen and a guest professor at the University of Tokyo. In 2006, he co-authored a paper reporting a major breakthrough in the research of galaxy formation. For the first time scientists had succeeded in detecting a halo of hot gas around a spiral galaxy. This finding is an important piece of evidence for the current theory of galaxy formation: Spiral galaxies are thought to form from enormous clouds of intergalactic gas that collapse to produce giant, spinning disks of stars and gas – the predecessors of later galaxies. To this work, Sommer-Larsen contributed computer simulations showing that galaxies are built up by the merging of smaller satellite galaxies (consisting of cold gas, stars and dark matter) as well as the gradual cool out of hot halo gas.

Besides his commitment for the Universe Cluster, Sommer-Larsen coordinates the Planck "Simulations" working group along with, amongst others, Prof. Simon White, director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik and leader of the Cluster's Research Area E.

by B. Wankerl

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

Tel. + 49 89 35831 - 7100
Fax + 49 89 3299 - 4002