Joachim Wambsganß

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Joachim Wambsganß (* 1961 in Landau in the Palatinate ) is a German astrophysicist . He is professor at the Astronomical Computing Institute at Heidelberg University and Director of the Center for Astronomy at Heidelberg University (ZAH). Wambsganß is an expert in cosmology , gravitational lenses and X-ray astronomy .


After studying (1981–1987) astronomy and physics in Heidelberg and Munich , which he completed with a dissertation on the microlens effect (English Gravitational Microlensing ), Wambsganß worked from 1990 to 1992 at Princeton University . He then did research at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching and at the Astrophysical Institute in Potsdam . In 1999 he became a professor at the University of Potsdam, and in 2004 he was appointed to the University of Heidelberg. In the winter semester 2008/2009 he worked as Paczynski Visiting Professor at Princeton University, in the summer semester 2013 he was awarded the Schrödinger visiting professorship at the Pauli Center for Theoretical Physics in Zurich, which is jointly supported by the ETH and the University of Zurich.

Wambsganß belongs to scientific associations such as the American Astronomical Society , the Astronomical Society and the German Physical Society . He is also involved in the children's university . He has been a member of the Council for Information Infrastructures since November 2014 .

Wambsganß also deals with the search for extrasolar planets and the question of whether there are Earth-like planets in the universe on which life would even be possible.


Publications (in selection)


  • as editor and one of the authors: Universe for everyone: 70 exciting questions and entertaining answers. Springer, Berlin, 2013, 440 pages. In the spectrum non-fiction book series. ISBN 978-3-8274-3053-3 . (The 70 lectures held from April to July 2011 in Heidelberg, Peterskirche , are linked in the book to their film recordings in the publisher's channel (free of charge, usually 16–20 min. Duration). There is a list of contents.)
  • Heavenly things in books: astronomical writings and instruments from six centuries (with Maria Effinger) . Universitätsverlag Winter, Berlin Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8253-5681-1 .
  • Gravitational Lensing: Strong, Weak and Micro: Saas-Fee Advanced Course 33 (with Peter Schneider and Chris Kochanek) . Springer, Berlin Heidelberg 2006, ISBN 978-3-540-30309-1 .
  • Singularity Theory and Gravitational Lensing (with Arlie O. Petters and Harold Levine) . Birkhäuser, Basel 2001, ISBN 978-0-8176-3668-5 .


  • Hydrogen helium diffusion in solar models (1987)
  • Interpretation of the microlensing event in QSO2237 + 0305 (1990)
  • Discovering galactic planets by gravitational microlensing: magnification patterns and light curves (1996)
  • Gravitational lensing as a universal astrophysical tool (1998)

Literature / web links