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Excellence Cluster Universe Inaugurates Its New Building

On September 12, the cluster celebrated the official opening of its premises on the Garching Campus. More than 100 guests joined the ceremony and invitation to a Bavarian style lunch. The opening started with a welcome speech by Cluster Coordinator Prof. Dr. Stephan Paul. He expressed his joy that the cluster now had a home of its own after a year of "virtual existence", thereby emphasizing the "non-bureaucratic way" the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP) made available parts of the so called ITER building for the cluster. The new building has already been staffed with the administration team led by Dr. Katja Ketterle and the first scientific guests. By the end of 2007 Stephan Paul expects up to 40 researchers to work in the offices and labs of the building.

Prof. Dr. Axel Schenzle, dean of the physics department of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), congratulated the Universe Cluster for the excellent research conditions on the Garching Campus. He jokingly referred to the TU's ample research grounds among "partridges and pheasants", whereas the LMU was located at Munich's "Champaign mile" in the heart of Schwabing – having to cope with a constant lack of space.

The Vice President of TU München, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schilling, opened his greeting with the remark that most speeches are given because "everything has been said but not by everybody", quoting Bavaria's famous comedian Karl Valentin. Therefore he would cut himself short. He outlined the Cluster's unique position in the world of science and expressed his best wishes for an "excellent research" in this project.

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bradshaw, director of the (IPP), welcomed the Universe Cluster on the IPP grounds philosophizing on the term "Cluster". According to his etymological investigations, the word roots in Old High German meaning "dense" and "thick". In this sense, he hoped for a tightly packed research atmosphere in the Cluster's headquarters.

In the course of the inauguration the Excellence Cluster Universe had invited Professor Jeremiah D. Ostriker to deliver a talk on September 11. His talk on "The Heart of Darkness" attracted a large audience. Although many additional chairs had to be squeezed into the lecture hall, the listeners enjoyed a very interesting and diverting hour – making them familiar with historical and modern concepts on the nature of the Universe.

by B. Wankerl

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

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