2013 Student All-Stars One

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Questions for Dieter Hartmann

Written By: Anton Ulyanov - Jul• 18•13

“Gamma-ray bursts come in two types – long and short. The physics are different depending on the system from which they originate.”

You say GRB’s can be long and short. How long in duration is each type of burst?

“In gamma-ray astronomy, the pictures aren’t very pretty – they’re not even meaningful unless you know what you’re looking at, so it’s hard to get the public excited about the kind of research high energy physicists do.”

Given the relative obscurity of the field, has it been difficult to get funding for some of the high energy physics projects you have undertaken?

And if the mechanism for doing space research were to go away, if we went to a private enterprise model of commercial space exploration, how would that affect research? Is Virgin Galactic going to let me build a satellite? Are they interested in letting me look at x-ray stars or are they just interested in putting a space tourism center in orbit?”

While you would have likely had much less independence at Virgin Galactic, you would have received massive funding for a project that is of interest to them. Would you consider working for a company like Virgin Galactic if space exploration was privatized, or do you value your independence as a researcher more?

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