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Institute Profile
s.u. Managing Director
s.u. Scientific Members, Directors
s.u. Retired Scientific Members
s.u. External Scientific Members
s.u. Former Scientific Members
s.u. MPE Member in the CPT
s.u. Scientific Advisory Board (Fachbeirat)
Board of Trustees
(Kuratorium; together with the MPI für Astrophysik)
s.u. Description of the Scientific Work at the Institute
including the number of employees)

Managing Director

Prof. Dr. Ralf Bender
Phone: (+49 89) 30000 - 3702  

Scientific Members, Directors

Prof. Dr. Ralf Bender (Optical and Interpretative Astronomy)
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Genzel (Infrared- and Submillimeter-Astronomy)
Prof. Dr. Gregor Eugen Morfill (Theory; Complex Plasmas)
Prof. Dr. Kirpal Nandra (High-Energy Astronomy; MPI Halbleiterlabor)  

Retired Scientific Members

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Haerendel
Prof. Dr. Reimar Lüst
Prof. Dr. Klaus Pinkau
Prof. Dr. Joachim Trümper  

External Scientific Members

Prof. Dr. Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Leiden Observatory (NL), MPE
Prof. Dr. V. Fortov, IHED, Moscow (Russia)
Prof. Dr. Roald Z. Sagdeev, University of Maryland (USA)
Prof. Dr. Maarten Schmidt, CALTECH, Pasadena (USA)
Prof. Dr. Yasuo Tanaka, JSPS, Bonn, MPE
Prof. Dr. Charles H. Townes, University of California, Berkeley (USA)  

Former Scientific Members

Prof. Dr. Günther Hasinger

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MPE Member in Scientific Council of the Chemistry, Physics & Technology Section of the MPG

Prof. Dr. Roland Diehl
( Information on externer Verweis Scientific Council and Sections)  

Scientific Advisory Board (Fachbeirat)

Prof. Dr. Roger Davies, Oxford (UK)
Prof. Dr. Richard Ellis, CALTECH, Pasadena (USA)
Dr. Neil Gehrels, NASA/GSFC (USA)
Prof. Dr. Fiona Harrison,CALTECH, Pasadena (USA)
Prof. Dr. Ove Havnes, Trømsø University (Norwegen)
Prof. Dr. Pierre Léna, Université Paris VII (Frankreich)
Prof. Dr. Richard McCray, University of Colorado (USA), (chair of the board)
Prof. Dr. Marco Salvati, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italien)

Interdisciplinary members of the advisory board
Prof. Dr. H. Gleiter, FZK - Institut für Nanotechnologie, Karlsruhe (Germany)
Prof. Dr. R. Sauerbrey, Forschungszentrum Rossendorf (Germany)
( external link Purpose of the Scientific Advisory Boards )  

Board of Trustees (Kuratorium; together with the MPI für Astrophysik)

Dr. L. Baumgarten, ehem. Vorstandsmitglied DLR
Prof. Dr. A. Bode, Vizepräsident TU München
J. Breitkopf, Kayser-Trede GmbH, München
H.-J. Dürrmeier, ehem. Süddeutscher Verlag GmbH, München
Prof. Dr. W. Glatthaar, ehem. Präsident der priv. Universität Witten/Herdecke GmbH, Stuttgart (chair of the board)
MinDirig Dr. G. Gruppe, Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Infrastruktur, Verkehr und Technologie, München
Prof. Dr. B. Huber, Rektor LMU München
Dr. M. Mayer, ehem. Mitglied des Bundestages, Höhenkirchen
MinDir J. Meyer, Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technologie, Berlin
Prof. Dr. E. Rohkamm, Blohm + Voss GmbH, Hamburg
( external link Purpose of the Board of Trustees )

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Description of the Scientific Work at the Institute

The institute was founded in 1963 as a sub-institute of the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik und Astrophysik and established as an independent institute in 1991.
Its main research topics are astronomical observations in spectral regions which are only accessible from space because of the absorbing effects of the Earth's atmosphere, but also instruments on ground based observatories are used whenever possible.

Scientific work is done in four major research areas that are supervised by one of the directors, respectively: optical and interpretative astronomy (Bender), infrared and sub-millimeter/millimeter astronomy (Genzel), high-energy astrophysics (Nandra), and theory, whereby this group also engages in experimental investigations of complex plasmas (Morfill). Within these areas scientists lead individual experiments and research projects organised in about 25 project teams. The research topics range from the physics of cosmic plasmas and of stars to the physics and chemistry of interstellar matter, from star formation and nucleosynthesis to extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology.

Many experiments of the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (MPE) have to be carried out above the dense Earth's atmosphere using aircraft, rockets, satellites and space probes. In the early days experiments were also flown on balloons. Data-based analysis, investigation of fundamental physical processes, and the development of new methods is most relevant to the theoretical work. To run advanced extraterrestrial physics and state-of-the-art experimental astrophysics, the institute continues to develop high-tech instrumentation in-house. This includes detectors, spectrometers, and cameras as well as telescopes and complete payloads (e.g. ROSAT and ABRIXAS) and even entire satellites (as in case of AMPTE and EQUATOR-S). For this purpose the technical and engineering departments are of particular importance for the institute's research work.

The theory division of the institute covers all the research topics. Especially the results in the area of "analysis of complex systems" are developed into applications in medicine (early diagnostics of skin cancer, tumours, prenatal surveillance), engineering (manufactoring processes and quality control), and pharmacology (drug testing and design).

Observers and experimenters perform their research work at the institute in close contact with each other. Their interaction while interpreting observations and propounding new hypotheses underlies the successful progress of the institute's research projects.

At the end of the year 2009 a total of 487 employees were working at the institute, numbering among them 75 scientist, 95 junior scientists (45 IMPRS PhD students included), 97 externally funded positions and 64 visiting scientists and interns.

The MPE is also active in scientific and vocational training. At the end of 2009 6 students were working on their diploma thesis and 9 apprentices worked in the administration (1) and the institute's workshop (8).

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