Gravitational Waves and Cryo-Electron Microscopy


RWTH invites you to two talks on the research topics of this year's winners of the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry.



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Anually on December 10, the anniversary of the death of inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel, the year's Nobel Prizes are bestowed during an award ceremony in Stockholm. On the occasion of the award ceremony, RWTHextern will host two talks explaining the research topics of the 2017 award winners in physics and chemistry. The Nobel Prize is still regarded the most prestigious award available in the considered disciplines.

Nobel Prize in Physics

On Saturday, December 2, Professor Julien Lesgourgues will talk on the topic of “The Observation of Gravitational Waves – Why Did it Take 100 Years to Test Einstein’s Ingenious Idea?” The talk is scheduled to begin at 11am in the Otto Fuchs lecture hall (H03), C.A.R.L., Claßenstraße 11, Aachen. Lesgourges is Chair of Theoretical Particle Physics and Cosmology at RWTH Aachen University.

About a century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves as part of the theory of general relativity. It took half a century before Einstein’s idea was fully understood, and another 50 years before it was possible to prove their existence – an achievement which in 2017 was awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physics. This discovery opens up a new area of science and astronomy, as we are now able to observe new phenomena in the universe, such as the merging of black holes. This phenomena are not observed with traditional telescopes, but with the help of so-called Einstein telescopes, which do not gather light but observe gravitational waves.

In his talk, Lesgourges will explain the significance of Einstein’s theory of general relativity and that of gravitational waves. The talk will be given partly in German and partly in English.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Dr. Florian Hausen, Junior Professor for Applied Interfaces Electrochemistry at RWTH Aachen and at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Forschungszentrum Jülich, will give a talk on “Cryo-Electron Microscopy: Components of Life – Deep-Frozen and in High Resolution.” The talk, which will be given in German, is scheduled to take place Friday, December 8, at 6:30pm in lecture hall HKW1, Wüllnerstraße 1.

In the past, it was impossible to investigate biological samples using an electron microscope, due to the possible damage caused to the sample by the electron beam and the necessity to keep the sample under vacuum. Thanks to this year’s Nobel Prize winners in chemistry, cells, viruses, bacteria, and proteins can be deep-frozen with a special method and thus stabilized. This makes it possible to observe samples with atomic scale resolution and gain fascinating insights into the world of the smallest components of life.

Admission to both events is free of charge; registration is not required.

Source: Press and Public Relations