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Pulsars - Star corpses as laboratories for extreme conditions

Begin: End: Location: Lecture Hall Building II, Lecture Hall 1 and 2
Event type:
  • Brötchen-und-Borussia
Portrait of Dominik Elsässer © Dominik Elsässer​/​TU Dortmund

Lecture in the series "Brötchen und Borussia" by PD Dr. Dominik Elsässer (TU Dortmund)

The sun, our Earth's star, has been providing us with light and heat for more than 4 billion years. But the life of stars lasts long, but not forever. More massive stars than our sun have a much shorter and stormier life, ending in a catastrophic explosion - a supernova. Such stellar explosions probably occur about twice a century in our Milky Way, even though more than 4 centuries have passed since the last galactic supernova observed by humans. But what we find in large numbers in our home galaxy are the star corpses left behind by such a supernova. In many cases these are so-called neutron stars. Objects, smaller than the Ruhr area and nevertheless with more than the mass of our sun. Often these neutron stars also exhibit very strong magnetic fields - several million times stronger than the strongest fields mankind is capable of producing. Rotating neutron stars often reveal themselves by regular pulses of radiation and are therefore called "pulsars". In this talk, we will look at how the truly hellish conditions on such neutron stars can open windows into physics under extreme conditions.

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Location & approach

The campus of the Technical University of Dortmund is located near the freeway junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerland line A45 crosses the Ruhr expressway B1/A40. The Dortmund-Eichlinghofen exit on the A45 leads to the South Campus, the Dortmund-Dorstfeld exit on the A40 leads to the North Campus. The university is signposted at both exits.

The "Dortmund Universität" S-Bahn station is located directly on the North Campus. From there, the S-Bahn line S1 runs every 20 or 30 minutes to Dortmund main station and in the opposite direction to Düsseldorf main station via Bochum, Essen and Duisburg. In addition, the university can be reached by bus lines 445, 447 and 462. Timetable information can be found on the homepage of the Rhine-Ruhr transport association, and DSW21 also offer an interactive route network map.



One of the landmarks of the TU Dortmund is the H-Bahn. Line 1 runs every 10 minutes between Dortmund Eichlinghofen and the Technology Center via Campus South and Dortmund University S, while Line 2 commutes every 5 minutes between Campus North and Campus South. It covers this distance in two minutes.



From Dortmund Airport, it takes just over 20 minutes to get to Dortmund Central Station by AirportExpress and from there to the university by S-Bahn. A wider range of international flight connections is offered by Düsseldorf Airport, about 60 kilometers away, which can be reached directly by S-Bahn from the university's train station.

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The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

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