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​GIF congratulates Prof. Reinhard Genzel on Nobel Prize in Physics

The GIF Board and team were thrilled to learn that three time GIF Grantee Prof. Reinhard Genzel was honoured with the most prestigious of science awards.

Prof. Genzel earned his first GIF grant in 1992 for a collaboration project with Israeli partners Amiel Sternberg and Hagai Netzer of Tel Aviv University on multiwavelength infrared observations and theoretical studies of energetic galactic nuclei.

The team continued their collaboration in a second GIF grant in 1998 on infrared and millimeter wave studies of active and starburst galaxies, adding colleagues Adalbert Pauldrach and Rolf-Peter Kudritzki of LMU Munich to the fruitful joint work of German and Israeli researchers.

The recently concluded 2016 GIF grant on “Galaxy Evolution at its Peak” with colleagues Avishai Dekel of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Andreas Burkert of LMU Munich led to pioneering results concerning the origin and properties of star-forming galaxies in the early universe, ten billion years ago and three billion years after the Big Bang. Combining advanced super-computer cosmological simulations and physical modeling, they were able to explain the formation and evolution of the disk galaxies observed by Genzel and his team, as highly perturbed, clumpy, rotating disks. They came up in particular with the origin of the giant clumps in these galaxies, and the way they migrate to the galaxy center to form a central stellar system there, with a super-massive black hole in the middle. In their ongoing research, they attempt to understand the origin of the universal threshold mass for rapid black-hole growth once the galaxy is more massive than our own Milky-Way galaxy, as observed by Genzel and his team.​

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Prof. Genzel’s own history of GIF grants, now spanning almost 30 years, not only illustrates the growing network of outstanding German and Israeli researchers, but also the spirit of longstanding scientific collaboration and friendship between our two countries, which is at the heart of GIF.

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