RESEARCHER REWARDED FOR REVEALING SECRETS OF THE SUN
Last Updated on Friday, 07 May 2010 21:03
Published on Wednesday, 23 February 2005 00:00
Research probing into the heart of the Sun has earned a £1000 prize for a young astrophysicist at Cambridge University. Dr Marcus Bruggen has been awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's Blackwell Prize offered annually for the best PhD thesis in the UK on a topic in geophysics, planetary science or solar physics.
Dr Bruggen is a graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied physics at Trinity College. He worked for his PhD in the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Douglas Gough. After spending 18 months as a postdoctoral scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astrophysik in Munich, Dr Bruggen has returned to Cambridge to take up a Junior Research Fellowship at Churchill College. Before going to Cambridge, he went to school near Cologne in Germany.
'I am absolutely delighted about this prize and feel very honoured' said Dr Bruggen. 'It encourages me to pursue these topics of research beyond what was in my thesis.' The prize will be presented at a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in London on Friday 8 December, and Dr Bruggen will give a presentation about his work at the next meeting of the Society in January.
Part of the winning research was about certain physical phenomena deep within the hot interior of the Sun and the effects they have on the nuclear fusion processes that power the Sun. Another part of Dr Bruggen's thesis dealt with waves that travel through the Sun. In particular, he was interested in waves that travel from the side of the Sun facing Earth to the far side, where they are reflected back. When the waves are reflected from a sunspot, they suffer a time delay. Dr Bruggen developed a technique making use of this effect to detect sunspot regions on the hidden side of the Sun. This could have important applications for forecasting the likely effects on Earth of material streaming away from the Sun.
The Blackwell Prize is sponsored by Blackwell Scientific Publications and is administered by the Royal Astronomical Society's Education Committee.
Dr Marcus Bruggen may be contacted at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge:
Dr Jacqueline Mitton, RAS Press Officer
Office & home phone: Cambridge ((0)1223) 564914
FAX: Cambridge ((0)1223) 572892