Memorial Colloquium for Jürgen Ehlers on the occasion of his 80th birthday

January 15, 2010, Max Planck Campus Potsdam-Golm

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Ehlers (1929-2008)

Jürgen Ehlers, the founding director of the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) in Potsdam, was one of the most distinguished and influential German scientists of his generation. He made important contributions to the current understanding of Einstein's theory of General Relativity, to astrophysics and to cosmology. Born in 1928, Ehlers studied both physics and mathematics in Hamburg. After a doctorate with Pascual Jordan in 1958, Ehlers taught in Kiel, Syracuse, Hamburg, Dallas, and Austin before joining the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Munich in 1970. In 1995, he became the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute). In recent years, Ehlers spent more time pursuing his life-long interests in the history of science and the meaning and importance of science to society. He engaged in public debates and wrote numerous articles. Ehlers was one of the initiators of the Project on the History and Foundations of Quantum Physics, a joint initiative of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, and a key contributor to the project's reading group on the history of quantum physics until his sudden and unexpected death on May 20, 2008.

Interview with Jürgen Ehlers conducted by Donald Salisbury (Austin College) on March 18, 2008 at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (preliminary transcript as pdf).
Audio and transcript in ECHO.

For more detailed local information as well as information about the program of the memorial colloquium please visit the AEI Memorial Colloquium website.

Additional information about Jürgen Ehlers can be found on the AEI website about Jürgen Ehlers.

If you own archival material pertaining to Jürgen Ehlers (correspondence, lecture notes, manuscripts, etc.) or would like to send us any other kind of information, please contact