"Science Book of the Year" written by the Scientific Director of IPP

Günther Hasinger honoured as author / competition run by “Bild der Wissenschaft”

November 24, 2008

In a competition run by “Bild der Wissenschaft” magazine the distinction “Science Book of the Year” was conferred on “Das Schicksal des Universums” (The Fate of the Universe) by Professor Dr. Günther Hasinger, since November 2008 Scientific Director of Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics (IPP) at Garching and Greifswald.

Altogether, six books in six different categories received awards. “These annual awards are intended as guidelines to assist our readers, and hence a wide public, in finding interesting books in the scientific field,” states Dr. Uta Altmann from “Bild der Wissenschaft”.

“Das Schicksal des Universums”, meanwhile in its third edition, introduces readers to the research into our cosmic home and takes them on a journey through time, from the origins of the universe to its cold, dark end in distant eternity. In the “Overview” category it is, according to the jury, this year’s science book “that best illuminates the background of the theme addressed”.

The cosmological questions which the book seeks to clarify were till recently the main research field of the author, who was concerned with, in particular, investigating the sky in X-ray light. He succeeded in identifying the source of the very old and puzzling phenomenon of cosmic background X-radiation, viz. massive Black Holes in the centres of distant galaxies. As Director of IPP Günther Hasinger will not completely abandon these exciting pursuits, but will utilise synergies between astrophysics and plasma physics. For example, in conjunction with astrophysics groups he will introduce his X-ray diagnostics, so important in his previous research, to the fusion physics being done at IPP, the objective of which is to bring the fire of the sun to earth by reproducing the cosmic source of energy in a fusion power plant. Accordingly, Günther Hasinger will now apply in the laboratory the measuring equipment developed for observing X-radiation in outer space: these instruments are to image the X-ray light emitted by the plasma in Garching’s ASDEX Upgrade fusion device and thus contribute to clarifying the plasma state.

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