New research group to simulate the gas in and around galaxies


Gas of a simulated interacting galaxy pair

Credit: Rainer Weinberger
Nov. 25, 2022 //

Dr Rainer Weinberger will join the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) in 2023 as a Leibniz junior group leader with a project focused on sophisticated cosmological simulations. The research group is funded with 1 million euros over five years.

Galaxies are the large-scale building-blocks of the universe. Their formation and evolution depend critically on internal, small-scale feedback: energetic processes in massive stars and active galactic nuclei drive a cycling of gas, both spatially and in its state, thereby affecting the overall evolution of the host galaxy. Making use of novel computational techniques, the Leibniz Junior Research Group will study this gas cycling in global models of galaxy formation in the now funded project called “Modeling multiphase media in and around galaxies in a cosmological context”. “Using large-scale computer simulations, the group will connect the complex physics of galactic gas with observational results, revealing how the universe evolved into the state we can observe today,” says Rainer Weinberger.


Dr Rainer Weinberger

Credit: FOTO Borchard

Rainer Weinberger did his PhD with Volker Springel at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies and graduated in 2018 at Heidelberg University. For the following three years, he joined the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard University, USA, as an ITC fellow and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics in Toronto. Rainer Weinberger is also a member of the IllustrisTNG project on large, cosmological magnetohydrodynamical simulations of galaxy formation and an expert on simulating feedback of active galactic nuclei.

The programme “Leibniz Junior Research Groups” is one of four funding programmes of the Leibniz Competition and is aimed at postdocs with an excellent scientific career. As leaders of junior research groups, they are given the opportunity to realize their own research projects and further establish themselves in their respective research field. With this funding format, the Leibniz Association offers them attractive research conditions and networking opportunities. The AIP hosts one other such group, which is led by Dr. Marcel Pawlowski, a Schwarzschild Fellow at the institute since 2018.

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aims at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and E-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.
Last update: 25. November 2022