Johann Wempe Award 2009 - Dr. Matthias Rempel
With this year's prize, the AIP honours Dr Matthias Rempel from the High Altitude Observatory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado (USA). Dr Rempel succeeded in creating the first realistic magneto-hydrodynamic 3-D simulation of sunspots.
Dr. Matthias Rempel's research focuses on the structure and dynamics of the magnetic field in the interior of the sun. In his simulations, the interaction of gas flows, magnetic fields and radiation is followed, which leads to the complex structures on the solar surface.
Prof. Dr. Sami Solanki, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, will give a keynote speech on Dr. Rempel's field of research at the Wempe Award Ceremony on 25 May 2009: "Challenges of modern solar physics".
Matthias Rempel studied physics at the Georg-August University of Göttingen and completed his studies with distinction on the topic of "Stability of a flux tube model for prominences". Matthias Rempel completed his doctoral thesis at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and finished it with "summa cum laude". After a stay at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy, Dr Matthias Rempel has been researching at the High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder since 2002. His work covers the Sun's magnetic fields and so-called differential rotation. Sun-like stars do not rotate like a rigid body, but at different speeds at different points inside and on the surface. Dr Rempel investigated the origin of this differential rotation as well as its interplay with the origin of the magnetic fields. Field concentrations that pierce the surface form sunspots, whose properties can now be explained in detail by Matthias Rempel's computer simulation.
The prize is financed by funds bequeathed by the last director of the former Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam, Prof. Dr. Johann Wempe (1906-1980). It includes an invitation to spend several months as a guest at the AIP with appropriate financial support. It can be awarded both to younger scientists who have already distinguished themselves with remarkable achievements and to experienced scientists in recognition of their life's work. Previous winners were Prof. Tom Abel from Stanford University (2001), Dr. Russel D. Cannon from the Anglo-Australian Observatory Sydney (2002), Dr. Isabelle Baraffe and Prof. Gilles Chabrier from the Ecole Normale Supérior de Lyon (2004), Dr. Alexander G. Kosovichev of Stanford University (2005), Prof. Eva Grebel of the Astronomical Institute of the University of Basel (2006), Dr. Ignasi Ribas of the Institut de Ciències de l'Espai in Barcelona, Spain (2007) and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Kenneth C. Freeman from the Australian National University (2008).
Dr. Matthias Rempel receives the Wempe Prize 2009 [Photo: R. Arlt/AIP].
Computer simulation of a sunspot by Rempel, Schüssler and Knölker. [Graphic: Rempel/HAO]
Prof. Dr. Klaus G. Strassmeier
Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP)
An der Sternwarte 16
14482 Potsdam, Germany