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Astrophysicist receives Albert Einstein medal

Johannes Geiss says he has been inspired by Albert Einstein in many different ways. ISSI, Bern

The Bern-based astrophysicist, Johannes Geiss, has been awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his work on cosmology.

Geiss, who is co-director of the International Space Science Institute in Bern, and his colleague, Hubert Reeves, were honoured on Wednesday by the Albert Einstein Society.

“The prize means a great deal because to be connected with the name of Albert Einstein is a great honour for any physicist,” Geiss told swissinfo.

Geiss and Reeves conducted significant research connected to the first moon landing, in 1969. Their experiments gave the first indication of how much ordinary matter exists in the universe.

Other recipients of the Einstein award include the British astrophysicist and mathematician, Stephen Hawkings, and the Swiss astronaut, Claude Nicollier.

Geiss, 75, never knew Einstein personally but said the man who discovered the theory of relativity was an inspiration to him.

“For me, it’s especially relevant that Einstein did so much important work here in Bern as a young man in the patent office,” he said.

Geiss was born in Germany in 1926 and studied physics in the German city of Göttingen. He received his doctorate in experimental physics in 1953.

He has been a co-director the International Space Science Institute in Bern since 1995.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR