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Heino Falcke

Heino Falcke

Title: Towards the ends of space and time – the first image of a black hole

Abstract

Bio: Heino Falcke is a theoretical astrophysicist and radio astronomer who made fundamental contributions to the understanding of black hole and cosmic particles. He developed a unified model to explain the broad-band emission and the jet-disk coupling of the vast majority of black holes and discovered the “fundamental plane relation”, connecting and unifying super massive and stellar mass black holes. He pioneered the idea to image the “shadow of a black hole” with global millimeter-wave interferometry. Falcke co-founded the Event Horizon Telescope and contributed with his group and as chair of its science council to it, and is currently a member of the board. This led to the publication of the first ever image of a black hole in April 2019 and the publication of the first ever image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. He also co-developed the LOFAR telescope and pioneered the detection of cosmic rays with radio antennas. The technique provides precision measurements of the cosmic ray composition and allows studying their origin. The method was successfully implemented in the LOFAR telescope and is now integrated into the large Pierre Auger Observatory. Falcke is also PI of a low-frequency radio experiment (NCLE) on board of the Queqiao satellite behind the moon. This is the first pathfinder experiment launched to probe the dark ages of the early universe.