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Humboldt Research Fellowship for Dr. Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay

Press Release No. 352/2011
9 November 2011
Canadian scientist to investigate white dwarf stars at Königstuhl State Observatory
Tremblay 160x200
Dr. Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay

Dr. Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay has received a research fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a sojourn at Heidelberg University’s Centre for Astronomy (ZAH). The Canadian scientist will be working with Prof. Dr. Norbert Christlieb and Dr. Günter Ludwig at the Königstuhl State Observatory. During his two-year stay he will be investigating white dwarf stars. These are low-mass stars that have reached the final stages of their evolution as their nuclear energy supply is exhausted. As they are very old, astronomers study them to find out more about the history of the Milky Way.

Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay studied at the University of Montreal, Canada, where he was awarded a doctorate in June 2011. In his dissertation he devised special computer models to find out why the cool and hence older white dwarfs appear to be more massive than their hot and hence younger counterparts. He was able to show that this apparent discrepancy derives from an erroneous interpretation of the spectra of these objects. At the State Observatory, Dr. Tremblay intends to further refine his models with a view to improving the analysis of spectroscopic measurements and enhancing our understanding of these remnants from the early history of the Milky Way. “I am delighted to be part of a highly motivated group of young scientists involved in important observational surveys of stars in our galaxy,” says Dr. Tremblay.

To promote cooperative international research, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awards fellowships to outstandingly qualified young scholars and scientists from abroad enabling them to conduct a self-selected, long-term research project in conjunction with an academic host in Germany. The Königstuhl State Observatory is one of the three institutes comprising Heidelberg University’s Centre for Astronomy. It has earned itself an excellent international reputation in the field of three-dimensional modelling of the gaseous envelopes of stars.

Note for newsdesks
A digital photo of Dr. Tremblay is available from the Press Office.

Dr. Guido Thimm
Centre for Astronomy
Heidelberg University
phone: +49 6221 54-1805 / 54-1801

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