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Prestigious award for Friedrich-Karl Thielemann


This news is based on a press release of the Astronomische Gesellschaft e. V.

For his research at the boundary of nuclear physics and astronomy, Friedrich-Karl Thielemann receives the Karl Schwarzschild Medal, the most prestigious prize in Germany in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. Since 2018, Thielemann has been a guest scientist at GSI after his retirement and continues his award-winning research on the origin of the elements in the universe in collaboration with his theory colleagues. This work is of great importance for the future experimental program at FAIR and already for the ongoing FAIR Phase 0 program.

His theoretical efforts, combined with comparison to experiments and observations, had a huge impact on the understanding of stellar explosions. In his many outstanding theoretical contributions, he predicted nuclear cross sections and reaction rates of nuclei across the nuclear chart, including highly unstable ones. During his more than 40-year career, he achieved a full circle from nuclear input to studies of stellar evolution and explosions, the formation of heavy elements and the resulting chemical evolution of galaxies. Friedrich-Karl Thielemann excelled in providing the basis for the most extreme events in the universe from type Ia supernovae, novae and X-ray bursts, core-collapse supernovae and hypernovae to neutron star mergers. Thielemann’s dedication to unravel the origin of the elements in the universe led to professional positions he held around the globe. Being emeritus professor in the field of cosmology and particle physics at the University of Basel, he continues his research also as a guest scientist at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. Paolo Giubellino, scientific managing director of GSI and FAIR, expressed his delight at this recognition for Thielemann: “We are thrilled that this prestigious prize goes to a towering figure in Nuclear Astrophysics who has honoured our center by choosing it as his home institution in these years as Emeritus. He is an extremely active scientist, who actively collaborates with the other nuclear astrophysicists on campus, both theorists and experimentalists. It is a great asset for us, with great impact on one of the key FAIR research programs”. Thielemann is member of the German Astronomical Society since 1978. (AG/LW)

Press Release of Astronomische Gesellschaft e. V.

Friedrich-Karl Thielemann
Photo: Rina Wiedmer (SCNAT)