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Cluster Hosts Second Science Week and General Assembly

The second Science Week of the Excellence Cluster from 1-4 December 2008 attracted a large audience. More than 100 scientists joined the annual scientific convention of the Cluster. Besides the talks of all research areas A to G in the Cluster, guest speakers from other institutions presented their work: Luigi Guzzo from the Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) in Italy talked about his concept of using galaxy redshift surveys to understand cosmic acceleration. Stefan Hofmann, another guest and designed leader of the Junior Research Group “Theoretical Particle Physics and the Early Universe”, introduced a consistent perspective to the cosmological constant challenge, which he described as “mother of all technical naturalness problems”. One of the highlights was the announcement of the three winners of the first Universe PhD awards. Petra Haefner, Steve Blanchet and Rüdiger Picker presented their outstanding theses at this year’s Science Week. Thursday, 4 December 2008 was dedicated to overview talks of all research areas. Comments Cluster Coordinator Stephan Paul: “It is obvious that the different disciplines and working groups of the Cluster have achieved significant progress. The close co-operation of different fields including both experimental and theoretical approaches has resulted in a prolific scientific output”.

General assembly of the Cluster Members

In his talk at the general meeting of all Cluster members on 3 December 2008, Paul gave a compact review on the past year, reporting on advances in scientific staffing and projects: The Cluster now has close to 100 principal investigators, seven out of ten Junior Research Leaders have been appointed, with an eighth taking his position in February 2009. Both the visitor and the research fellow program are well accepted in the scientific community – currently seven research fellows are associated with the Cluster. Paul further expressed his contentment that the Cluster’s projects are well on the way and that 25 additional projects have been approved. As Günther Hasinger had resigned as coordinator of Research Area F due to his new position as director with the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, the assembly voted for a new leading team. Lothar Oberauer (TUM), was elected new coordinator, Jochen Greiner (MPE) the deputy coordinator of this area, entitled “How did black holes form and evolve?". Both candidates received a clear majority in the ballot. There was a change also in Research Area E, “Dark Components in the Universe”. According to their announcement at last year’s election, Stella Seitz and Hans Boehringer now swap their roles after the first half of the election period. Until the next election in 2009, Stella Seitz will lead RA E with Hans Boehringer being her deputy.


Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

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