The World Cultural Council honours Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor for molecular Astrophysics at the Leiden University and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), with this year’s Albert Einstein World Award of Science.
This prize is awarded to scientists for their outstanding achievements, which bring scientific progress and benefit to mankind. Furthermore, the European Astronomical Society (EAS) elected Ewine van Dishoeck as the Lodewijk Woltjer Lecturer 2015.
In this capacity she will give a lecture at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) at the end of June. The EAS recognizes with the prize her outstanding career, especially her work in the field of star- and planet-formation.
In her career as an astrochemist Ewine van Dishoeck has focused on interstellar clouds for 25 years now. These clouds seem black and invisible to the naked eye, but are indeed filled with the molecular material, from which the next generation of stars and planets form.
In 1995, van Dishoeck was able to detect key molecules – water, carbon dioxide, methane, formic acid and others – with the ESA Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) which is not hampered by the disturbing interference of the Earth’s atmosphere. With the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, ISO’s successor, she discovered more components of protoplanetary discs: large amounts of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and acetylene (C2H2) gases. Both are constituents of amino and nucleic acids, the most important building blocks of life.
Since 2007 van Dishoeck has been external scientific member of the MPE. With her research group at the institute, she analyses how interstellar clouds evolve to planetary disks at sub-millimetre and infrared wavelengths using the Herschel Space Observatory and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. Not only do these data provide an inventory of water and complex molecules in regions of star and planet formation but they also probe the physical processes involved.
Ewine van Dishoeck’s research made a substantial contribution to establishing the relatively young interdisciplinary field of astrochemistry. “When I studied chemistry in Leiden, I was fascinated by the first discoveries of molecules in interstellar space. Today it is amazing to see the rich variety of molecules and solid particles in this unique laboratory and realize that they are actually the tiny building blocks of new planets like Earth”, says the scientist.
This year, van Dishoeck receives two awards for her research: The European Astronomical Society (EAS) elected her as Lodewijk Woltjer Lecturer 2015. This prize recognises her outstanding career, especially her work in the field of star- and planet-formation. She will hold a lecture about her work at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) on Tenerife, Spain, at the end of June, and receive a medal and a certificate.
What’s more, the World Cultural Council (WCC) bestows the Albert Einstein World Award of Science upon van Dishoeck, which values her work in the field of interstellar water chemistry as well as her broad vision of astrochemistry – linking quantum chemical calculations, laboratory studies, and astronomical modelling and observations. The jury highlighted that her fundamental discoveries have contributed to our understanding of the universe at the atomic level.
The Award Ceremony for the Albert Einstein World Award of Science will be held on 19 November 2015 at the University of Dundee; Ewine van Dishoeck will give her prize lecture the day before. In addition to a certificate and a commemorative medal the scientist will receive 10.000US$ prize money. The World Cultural Council is an international organization, founded to establish relations with the scientific, cultural and social institutions worldwide and to promote science and art for the benefit and progress of humankind. In particular, the WCC has awarded scientists, educators and artists since 1984, who contributed positively to the cultural enrichment of mankind. Former laureates of the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in the field of Astrophysics are Martin Rees (2003) and Margaret Burbidge (1988).
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Phone: +49 (0)89 30000 3980
Fax: +49 (0)89 30000 3569
Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle | Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching
Breakthrough Prize for Kim Nasmyth
04.12.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH
The key to chemical transformations
29.11.2017 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences