Rashid Sunyaev wins 2012 Franklin Medal in Physics

On 19 December 2011 the Franklin Institute announced that the 2012 Franklin Medal in Physics goes to Rashid Sunyaev, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, for ”his monumental contributions to understanding the early universe and the properties of black holes.“

Fig.: MPA-Director Rashid Sunyaev

The Benjamin Franklin Medals are awarded annually and span seven disciplines of science: chemistry, computer and cognitive science, earth and environmental science, electrical engineering, life science, mechanical engineering, and physics. The first Franklin Medal in Physics was awarded in 1915 and it is one of the most prestigious awards in Physics. Among previous Laureates are: 1926 — Niels Bohr, 1927 - Max Planck, 1935 - Albert Einstein, 1980 - Lyman Spitzer, Jr.

The gold medals will be awarded to the 2012 laureates during the annual Franklin Institute Awards Ceremony on Thursday, 26 April 2012. During the Awards Week, the 2012 Laureates will take part in a seminar or lecture focusing on their specific area of expertise at various universities throughout the city.

Rashid Sunyaev works on many fields in theoretical astrophysics, ranging from cosmology and high energy astrophysics to X-ray astronomy and space research. He is interested in the interaction of matter and radiation under astrophysical conditions and has provided many important contributions to observational cosmology. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, together with his colleague Yakov Zeldovich he described how the cosmic background radiation is altered when passing through the hot gas in galaxy clusters, which is now known as the Sunyaev-Zeldovich-Effect. Together with Nikolai Shakura he published a paper about the structure of accretion discs around black holes, both stellar black holes in binary star systems and massive black holes in active galactic nuclei. For all his influential works in astrophysics he received many international awards and honours and is member of many academies and professional societies.

Further Information:

linkPfeilExtern.gifMore Information about the Franklin Institute Awards
linkPfeil.gifProf. Rashid A. Sunyaev