Previous Biermann Lectures

Established in 1997, the Biermann Lecture series is one of the flagship scientific events at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. The aim is to stimulate scientific activity throughout the Munich-Garching community by bringing a prominent external scientist to Garching for a month. This gives them ample time to interact scientifically with our staff, postdocs and students at coffee, lunch, institute seminars and other events.

The lecture series is named after Ludwig Biermann, the founding director of the Institute. The MPA was originally founded in 1958 as a scientific department of the Max Planck Institute for Physics, which was then renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics. The department moved to its current location in Garching in 1979, when Biermann’s successor, Rudolf Kippenhahn, was scientific director, and became fully independent in 1991.

Biermann lectures 2023: Do we have a standard model of cosmology?
By Prof. George Efstathiou, University of Cambridge more
Biermann Lectures 2022: Insights on the Milky Way’s history and dynamics
By Prof. Dr. Amina Helmi (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen). more
Biermann Lectures 2021: Fast Radio Bursts and Magnetars
By Prof. Victoria Kaspi, McGill University in Montréal, Canada more
Biermann Lectures 2020: Dynamics of the Solar Interior
By Prof. Laurent Gizon, Director at the MPI for Solar System Research, Göttingen more
Biermann Lectures 2019: Kinetic modeling of astrophysical plasmas
By Professor Anatoly Spitkovsky, Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University more
New Probes of Distant Galaxies and Their Cosmic Environments During the Peak Epoch of Star Formation
By Professor Alice Shapley, UCLA, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy more
Biermann Lectures 2017: Neutron star mergers and gravitational waves
Gravitational waves have become a very hot topic in astrophysics since their detection by LIGO in 2015. This means that also possible precursors are in the focus of research – general relativistic research because these objects are either black holes or neutron stars. The 2017 Biermann Lecturer, Masaru Shibata from the Kyoto University, uses numerical simulations and general relativity (or numerical relativity for short) to study the merger of such extreme objects and the properties of both the electromagnetic radiation and gravitational waves emitted during these events. more
Biermann Lectures 2016: Magnetism and Radiation in Motion, in Disks and Jets
Black holes are fascinating – even though or especially because they cannot be seen; nothing, not even light, can escape their gravitational pull. Nevertheless their immediate surroundings are very interesting laboratories to study high-energy and relativistic processes in space. Astrophysical phenomena such as gas dynamics, magneto-hydrodynamics, and radiative transfer in a broad range of astrophysical phenomena will be the topic of this year’s Biermann Lectures by Mitchell Begelman from the University of Colorado. more
Biermann lectures - How to model an extra solar planet
In this year’s Biermann Lectures Professor Isabelle Baraffe from the University of Exeter will talk about exoplanet modelling. The different aspects touched on in the course of the miniseries will range from an exoplanet’s interior structure to its outer atmosphere. more

Please note: Talks given by the Biermann lecturers 2007 to 2011 are only available for MPA members internally.

Previous Biermann lecturers have been: Joe Silk, Roger Blandford, Robert Williams, Bohdan Paczynski, Jim Truran, Ramesh Narayan, Lars Hernquist, Lars Bildsten, Shri Kulkarni, Scott Tremaine.

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