The famous Astrophysicist Rashid Sunyaev at the first "N. Kylafis Lecture" of FORTH | News

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The famous Astrophysicist Rashid Sunyaev at the first "N. Kylafis Lecture" of FORTH

This year, FORTH’s Institute of Astrophysics introduced the "Kylafis Lecture”, in recognition of the outstanding 35-year scientific and administrative contribution of the Emeritus Professor of the University of Crete and Collaborating Faculty Member of FORTH, Mr. Nikolaos Kylafis.  His unremitting efforts to preserve and develop the scientific excellence in the field of Astrophysics, at FORTH and the University of Crete, have played a key role in the success of the Astrophysics team, which was recognized by the founding of FORTH’s Institute of Astrophysics in 2018.

The title of “Kylafis Lecturer” will be awarded by the Director of the Institute of Astrophysics, on an annual basis, to a theoretical astrophysicist with outstanding contributions to the field. The “Kylafis Lecturer” will visit FORTH for a few days and give a scientific lecture, in collaboration with the Department of Physics of the UoC, as well as a public lecture during which the award ceremony will take place.

The Institute of Astrophysics hopes that the "Kylafis Lecture" will trigger the beginning of a tradition of visits by distinguished Astrophysicists, whose presence will inspire the younger generations of scientists trained at FORTH and at the University of Crete, and will provide the opportunity to communicate the latest achievements in the rapidly evolving and expanding field of Theoretical Astrophysics to the wider scientific community of Crete.

The inaugural event was held on Friday 25 October 2019 at FORTH’s Amphitheater. The first lecture was held in honor of Professor Rashid Sunyaev, Emeritus Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, who gave an open lecture in English, on the topic of “Discovering Warm Plasma in Distant Galaxy Clusters".

Professor Rashid Sunyaev was awarded with the title "Kylafis Lecturer" for his "Significant Achievements in the Fields of Theoretical Astrophysics and Cosmology".


A few words about Prof. Rashid Sunyaev

One of Professor Sunyaev's most significant contributions with wide appeal, which has greatly influenced our understanding of the Universe, was the prediction he made in 1970, in collaboration with Y.B. Zeldovich, on the existence of "acoustic peaks" in the microwave background radiation; in other words, on the “ashes” of the Big Bang. This phenomenon is used today with extremely high accuracy for measurements of the geometry of the Universe. He discovered that clusters of galaxies leave their “footprint” on the cosmic background radiation (a phenomenon named after him and is known as the "Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect"), thus paving the way for the use of these large cosmic structures in observational cosmology. He also developed theoretical models on matter falls into black holes, which are now widely used and named after him ("Shakura-Sunyaev accretion disk models").  Professor Sunyaev is a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences in the US. He has been honored with numerous international awards, including the Dirac Medal, the Karl Schwarzschild Medal of the German Astronomical Society, the Gruber Prize in Cosmology, the Heinemann Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the Alexander Friedman Award of the Russian Academy of Science, as well as the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society of the United Kingdom.