Johann Wempe Award 2005 - Dr. Alexander G. Kosovichev

Portait photo

Dr. Alexander G. Kosovichev

This year's Johann Wempe Prize is awarded to the solar physicist Dr Alexander G. Kosovichev from Stanford University in California for his outstanding achievements in the field of helioseismology. The prize is associated with a two-month stay and lectures at the AIP.

The awardee

His passion is listening to the sun. The ball of gas at the centre of the solar system performs oscillations that propagate like sound waves. Since the speed of these waves changes with the depth inside the sun, one can draw conclusions about the structure of the sun from the observations of so-called helioseismology. Already after his studies at the University of Novosibirsk in the former Soviet Union, Alexander Kosovichev began his doctoral work in the field of solar physics at Moscow University. From 1980 to 1990, Dr Kosovichev worked on the basics of helioseismology at the Astrophysical Observatory in Crimea. As an expert in this field, he went to the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England, for four years. Since 1994, Alexander Kosovichev has been working as a senior research scientist at Stanford University in California, where he developed special methods for probing the sun beneath its surface. The solar physicist Dr. Kosovichev has long been one of the leading experts in the field of helioseismology.


Sounding of the Sun under a sunspot with local helioseismology. The colouring indicates deviations of the speed of sound from the solar structure without a spot. ("Time-distance helioseismology" by Duvall, Kosovichev, Scherrer, et al., SOHO/MDI)

Programme of the award ceremony on 04.11.2005

Prof. Matthias Steinmetz (AIP)
MinR Dr. Rainer Koepke (BMBF)

Prof. K.G. Strassmeier (AIP)

Award ceremony
MinR Dr. Rainer Koepke


Festive talk
Prof. Oskar von der Lühe (Kiepenheuer Institute Freiburg)
"Helioseismology and its perspectives for solar and stellar research".

Last update: 10. November 2021