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Prof. Dr.

Reinhard Genzel

Year of election: 2002
Section: Physics
City: Garching
Country: Germany
CV Reinhard Genzel - Deutsch (pdf)


Reinhard Genzel has made fundamental contributions to Infrared Astronomy. He is distinguished for his outstanding contribution in demonstrating that the Milky Way contains a supermassive black hole at its centre. By developing state-of-the-art astronomical instruments and carrying out a tour-de-force programme of observing our Galactic Centre for many years at the highest possible angular resolution (in part aided with the novel technique of adaptive optics), he and his MPE team have made decisive measurements that have proven the existence of a black hole with a mass a few million times that of the sun in the centre of the Milky Way.

Honours and Memberships

  • 2014 Ehrendoktorwürde (Dr. h.c.), Observatoire de Paris (OBSPM), Frankreich
  • 2014 Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • 2014 Herschel-Medaille der Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), London
  • 2013 Orden Pour le Mérite (OPLM), Bonn
  • 2012 Crafoord-Preis, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
  • 2012 Tycho-Brahe-Preis, European Astronomical Society EAS
  • 2011 Karl-Schwarzschild-Medaille, Astronomischen Gesellschaft
  • 2008 Shaw-Prize, The Shaw Prize Foundation, Hong Kong
  • 2007 Albert-Einstein-Medaille der Albert Einstein-Gesellschaft, Schweiz
  • 2003 Balzan-Preis für Infrarot-Astronomie
  • 2003 Stern-Gerlach-Medaille für experimentelle Physik, Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft
  • 2002 Mitglied der Nationalen Akademie der Wissenschaften Leopoldina
  • 1990 Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Preis der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • 1986 Newton-Lacy-Pierce-Preis für Astronomie, American Astronomical Society
  • 1984 Presidential Young Investigators Award, National Science Foundation
  • 1980 Otto-Hahn-Medaille der Max-Planck Gesellschaft


  • GRAVITY - an adaptive optics assisted, near-infrared VLTI instrument for precision narrow-angle astrometry and interferometric phase referenced imaging of faint objects


  • seit 1999 Full Professor am Department of Physics an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1987-1999 Visiting Professor an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • seit 1986 Honorarprofessor an der Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität München
  • seit 1986 Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik in Garching
  • 1985-1986 Full Professor an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1981-1985 Associate Professor an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1980-1982 Miller Fellow an der University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • 1978-1980 Post-Doc am Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 1978 Promotion am Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie in Bonn über interstellare Maser
  • 1975 Diplom in Physik am Institut für Physik und Astronomie der Universität Bonn


  • since 1986 Member of the Scientific Board of the Max Planck Society




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