History of the Albert Einstein Institute

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) was founded in 1995 by the Max Planck Society for the purpose of pursuing research into the fundamental laws of gravitation.

The Institute was established in Brandenburg as part of the expansion of the Max Planck Society after the reunification of Germany. Its establishment was an initiative of one of its founding Directors, Jürgen Ehlers (1929-2008), who retired at the end of 1998. The institute moved from Potsdam to its new building in Golm in 1999. Golm later became a part of the city of Potsdam.

In 2002 the Institute opened a branch at the Universität Hannover that specializes in data analysis and the development of gravitational-wave detectors on Earth and in space. The AEI in Hannover originated from the Institute for Atom and Molecule Physics (AMP) of the Universität Hannover, which was established in 1979 by the Department of Physics.

Bernard Schutz, second founding director of the AEI and director of the Astrophysical Relativity department retired in 2014.

In 2020, Hermann Nicolai, who was since 1997 director of the Quantum Gravity and Unified Theories department, retired.

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