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Rosetta mission named Physics World 2014 Breakthrough of the Year


Mainz scientists participating in both the Rosetta mission and the Borexino experiment

The journal Physics World has named the first landing of a research probe on a comet as its 2014 Breakthrough of the Year. The Physics World editorial team decided to single out the historic achievement of the scientists working on the Rosetta mission for its significance and fundamental importance to space science.

View of the interior of the Borexino detector and surface of the sun

Ill./©: Borexino Collaboration

Philae instrument overview

Ill./©: German Aerospace Center (DLR)

A team headed by Dr. Göstar Klingelhöfer at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany developed the alpha particle x-ray spectrometer on board Philae, the lander of the ESA mission to the comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

On November 12, 2014 the lander touched down on the comet after a ten-year journey aboard the Rosetta spacecraft. Physics World is the journal produced for members of the UK-based Institute of Physics (IOP), one of the largest associations of physicists in the world.

Listed among its ten most important 2014 breakthroughs of the year were also the recent discoveries of the Borexino experiment, in which a team of physicists from Mainz University led by Professor Michael Wurm are participating.

Shielded deep within the bowels of the Gran Sasso mountain, the experiment is designed to detect neutrinos, an elusive form of particle created during nuclear fusion in the core of the sun. Although billions of such particles penetrate every square centimeter of the planet Earth every second, they are extremely difficult to capture.

For the first time, Borexino has been able to directly detect neutrinos created during one of the most important nuclear reactions that occur in the sun, the fusion of two hydrogen nuclei.

Further information:

Dr. Göstar Klingelhöfer
Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-23282 / 39-26883
fax +49 6131 39-26263

Professor Dr. Michael Wurm
Institute of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
D 55099 Mainz, GERMANY
phone +49 6131 39-23928
fax +49 6131 39-25169

Weitere Informationen: - Physics World 2014 Breakthrough of the Year ; - "Alpha particle x-ray spectrometer developed in Mainz transmits first data from comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko" ; - "Detection of pp-neutrinos provides first direct measurement of solar power at its production"

Petra Giegerich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

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