Invitation: Public Lecture presented by Faculty of Natural Sciences "Our Violent Universe"

Christi Cloete -- Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:22

Invitation: Public Lecture - "Our Violent Universe"

Date: 22 July, 18:00

Where: Building E8 (J Chris Coetzee building), Room G42, NWU Potchefstroom Campus

Speaker: Prof Markus Böttcher

Most people look at night to the sky and admire the apparent peace and calmness they observe. The fact that the human eye can only observe a very small portion of the energy spectrum is overlooked and the full "picture" of the universe is not visible without sophisticated scientific instrumentation.

The most violent and powerful phenomena in the universe reveal themselves in the emission of gamma-rays. Those are probed by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) in Namibia, the world's largest and most successful gamma-ray astronomy.

Prof Markus Böttcher will describe the HESS experiment in Namibia and take the audience on a tour through the gamma-ray universe, from the remains of powerful explosions of stars, to the centers of galaxies, hosting black holes of billions of solar masses. This tour will reveal the true nature of the universe to the audience in a way not possible without this sophisticated instrumentation and is vastly different from the normal human perceptions.

RSPV: Please let us know if you will be attending the lecture before or on 20 July 2015 by making use of the following link:


For more information regarding the lecture, please contact Lizelle le Roux at or 018 299 2301.


Short biography:

Prof Markus Böttcher is a native of Germany, where he has obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1997. He spent 15 years in the USA as a research associate in Houston, Texas, and then as a professor at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, before joining the Centre for Space Research at NWU in 2013. He is a world-leading expert in the physics of celestial gamma-ray sources. When not busy in the office, he spends much of his spare time running or playing chess.