For most people "adventure" would not be the first association when
thinking of analytical calculations or numerical simulations in
theoretical astrophysics. However, the objects under study - black
holes, gas moving at relativistic speeds, starbursts - are exciting
and Quataert is keen not only on trying to understand the physical
processes happening there but also on communicating his knowledge and
fascination to his students, to other astronomers, and to the wider
After his physics undergraduate degree at MIT and his PhD in Astronomy
from Harvard in 1999 (under the supervision of previous Biermann
lecturer Ramesh Narayan), Quataert spent two years at the Institute
for Advanced Study in Princeton before joining the faculty at UC
Berkeley in 2001. There he is now director of the Theoretical
Astrophysics Center and the Thomas and Alison Schneider Chair in
Physics. In addition to being named Biermann lecturer 2011, he has
received a number of national awards in the USA for his research, in
particular plasma and accretion physics.
The Biermann lecture series, which started in 1997, aims to stimulate
scientific activities across the Munich astronomical community and has
been very successful in previous years. World-class scientists working
on topics in theoretical and computational astrophysics are invited to
spend one month in Garching, to give a series of prize lectures and to
interact with colleagues at MPA and in the various surrounding
Biermann lectures 2011 by Prof. Eliot Quataert (University of California, Berkeley)
Tuesday, 5. July:
"The Physics of Galaxy Cluster Plasmas"
Tuesday, 12. July:
"Feedback from Radiation Pressure during Star and Galaxy Formation: What is it good for?"
Tuesday, 19. July:
"The Search for Electromagnetic Counterparts to Gravitational Wave Sources"
All lectures will start at 15:30 in the new seminar room at MPE and will be preceded by tea, coffee and cookies at 15:15.