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“Chaire Blaise Pascal” awarded to Professor Mukhanov

Munich, 12/20/2011

Cosmologist Professor Viatcheslav Mukhanov, who is a member of the Faculty of Physics at LMU, has been chosen to receive one of the “Chaires internationales de recherche Blaise Pascal” sponsored by the French Republic and the regional government of the Île-de-France. Mukhanov’s research is mainly devoted to problems in cosmology and astrophysics. He is one of a group of researchers who have made significant contributions to the theory of cosmic inflation. In 1981 Mukhanov proposed the first quantum mechanical model for the origin of the large-scale structure of the Universe, based on tiny fluctuations in the distribution of matter and energy. His calculations allowed him to predict the spectrum of such inhomogeneities, which was later confirmed by space-based observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation. In his more recent work, Mukhanov has constructed the so-called k-essence theory, which proposes a class of field theories that can explain why the Universe is dominated by dark energy at the present time.

The Chaire Blaise Pascal is a 12-month guest professorship to be held at a French institution, together with a research grant of some 200,000 Euros. The accolade was instituted in 1996 and is awarded to distinguished foreign researchers in all disciplines. The list of recipients includes many winners of the Nobel Prize. 

Viatcheslav Mukhanov and physicist Konstantin Efetov (Ruhr University, Bochum) are the first researchers based in Germany to receive the award, which is among the highest honors conferred by the French Government on foreign researchers.

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