Johann Wempe Award 2004 - Dr. Isabelle Baraffe and Prof. Dr. Gilles Chabrier
In honour of the last director of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam, Prof. Dr. Johann Wempe (1906-1980), the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam awards the Johann Wempe Prize to outstanding scientists. This year's Wempe Prize goes in equal parts to
Dr. Isabelle Baraffe and Prof. Dr. Gilles Chabrier (École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
for their outstanding theoretical work in the field of the evolution of low-mass stars, brown dwarfs and extrasolar gas planets. The contribution of the two laureates to the physics of these classes of objects relates to both their inner structure and their outer cool atmosphere. For the first time, realistic evolutionary models - especially of young stars - are now available that can be verified by photometric and spectroscopic observations. Without these evolutionary models, some recent observations - be it with the Hubble Space Telescope or with ESO's Very Large Telescope - would not be interpretable. The scientific interaction of the prize winners with the Potsdam star researchers will also prove useful and fruitful for some of the AIP's projects, such as spectroscopic studies of stellar and substellar objects with the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona and with the STELLA robotic telescope on Tenerife.
The prize is financed from funds bequeathed by Johann Wempe. The prize consists of an invitation to a guest stay of several months at the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam with an appropriate financial endowment.
The prize can be awarded both to younger scientists who have already distinguished themselves with remarkable achievements and to experienced scientists in appreciation of their life's work. The Johann Wempe Prize was awarded for the first time in 2000. Previous winners were Dr. Tom Abel (Penn State Univ.) and Dr. Russell D. Cannon (Anglo-Australian Obs. Sydney).
Programme on 8 October 2004
Schwarzschild House of the AIP
Welcome by Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz
Introduction of the prize winners by Dr. Hans Zinnecker
Presentation of the Wempe Prize 2004 by the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the AIP, Mrs Konstanze Pistor
Prof. Dr. André Maeder (Obs. de Genève):
Rotating stars on the way to supernovae and the case of the first stars after the Big Bang.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hillebrandt (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics Garching):
Much ado about nothing: News from the dark side of the Universe