Honoring the life's work of a great relativity researcher

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Ehlers receives Volta Medal in Gold in Italy

May 09, 2005

For his contribution to relativity research, Prof. Jürgen Ehlers has now received the Volta Medal in Gold from the Italian University of Pavia. With this medal he was honoured for his life's work and his great influence on relativity research today. In his laudation, Prof. Sergio Ratti acknowledged the similarities between Jürgen Ehlers and the Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, whom he described as great scientists and respected teachers.

The medal was awarded during the international high-ranking conference “Spacetime in Action” at the University of Pavia. The University of Pavia, where Albert Einstein lived briefly, is celebrating UNESCO's “Year of Physics” with this conference. In this context, Jürgen Ehlers gave the opening lecture of the conference and the Academic Year of Graduate Studies.

Together with Bernard Schutz, Jürgen Ehlers is the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics. Ehlers, born in 1929, studied physics, mathematics and philosophy in his native Hamburg. He received his doctorate under Pascual Jordan, worked in the USA from 1965 to 1971 and has since been researching the physical problems of general relativity and cosmology. Ehlers has been emeritus since 1998, but is still scientifically active.

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