Thomas Bretz to Receive the Gustav Hertz Prize
Thomas Bretz, Junior Professor for Experimental Astroparticle Physics at RWTH Aachen, is to receive the Gustav Hertz Prize 2015 awarded by the German Physical Society.© Peter Winandy
The prize, worth 7,500 Euros, is to honor outstanding research in experimental and theoretical physics. Bretz shares the prize with Daniela Dorner, who, like Bretz, participated in a German-Swiss research project at the University of Würzburg that also involved researchers from TU Dortmund University, ETH Zürich, and the University of Geneva.
Bretz and Dorner have contributed to improving Imaging Air Cherenkov telescopes: with the help of a new camera technology it is now possible to observe cosmic rays even under strong moonlight conditions.
The new technology is already being used on the Canary Island of La Palma, in the First G-APD Cherenkov telescope observatory, FACT for short, a system which can be controlled via a smart phone interface.
Bretz studied Physics at TU Munich and obtained his doctorate from the University Würzburg; subsequently, he conducted research at the University of Göttingen, ETH Lausanne, and ETH Zürich. In October 2014, the 40-year-old scientist was appointed Junior Professor at the RWTH Aachen Department of Physics.