Bessel award winner Dragan Huterer at MPA

September 16, 2020

Prof. Dragan Huterer currently is spending his sabbatical from the University of Michigan in the cosmology group at MPA. Funded through the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation, he hopes to find new inspiration for studying the expansion history of the universe as well as having the time to write a cosmology textbook.

Dragan Huterer, who currently is spending his sabbatical at MPA

Already in 2015, Dragan Huterer spent eight months at MPA and was impressed by the institute and the wide variety of interests present. “It is really an excellent place to spend time and to learn new things”, he says. “You find an inspiring atmosphere and many talented people here.”

As a general-purpose cosmologist, he works at the interface of data and theory with dark energy as his specialty. About 20 years ago, astronomers discovered that the expansion of the universe is becoming faster, but the physical mechanism behind this accelerated expansion is still unknown. Huterer uses data to help map the expansion history of the universe, and to follow the growth history of galaxies and structures on the largest scales in the universe. He is also interested in the fundamental processes that govern the physics in the primordial universe, studying the cosmic microwave background radiation, the echo of the Big Bang.

This Hubble diagram shows the expansion history of the universe (redshift z=0 is today, at redshift z=2 the universe was about 2 billion years old). Black dots with error bars denote actual supernova measurements, green lines are for universes with no dark energy component. The red line is for a universe where the expansion is always accelerated, the blue line – with fits the data best – is for a universe where the expansion was slowing down in the past but is now accelerating.

Supported by the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, which is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a scientist with an outstanding research record, Huterer now has the opportunity to communicate and collaborate with the large cosmology group at MPA. His main aims for his sabbatical at MPA are to get new ideas for his research and to write an introductory textbook about cosmology.

But first, he has to get his family settled: his two children now have started to go to school in Munich and he still has to find himself a bicycle for the commute to the institute. In his opinion, urban Munich is quite complementary to the more rural Michigan and he finds Max-Vorstadt a wonderful place for family living. And it might even be nice to go to a football game or two, once the rules allow…

Go to Editor View