In Memory of Peter Stubbe

November 02, 2022

Prof. Dr. Peter Stubbe, a former scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy (now: Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research) and professor at the Georg August University of Göttingen, passed away in July this year.

Peter Stubbe was born in Bremen in 1938. After studying physics and subsequently earning his doctorate at the Georg-August University of Göttingen, he accepted a position as a scientist at the then Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy in 1966, with which he remained associated for the entire course of his scientific career. Several research stays abroad were followed by his habilitation at the University of Göttingen in 1973.

Peter Stubbe's research interests were primarily focused on the Earth's ionosphere. His early theoretical work had a great influence on this field and served many colleagues worldwide as a valuable basis for modeling the ionosphere and the neutral atmosphere.

In 1974 Peter Stubbe, together with his colleague Helmut Kopka, took over the leadership of the "Heating" project at the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy. Heating is an experimental facility that heats the ionospheric plasma by means of high intensity radio waves. Such a quantifiable and reproducible modification of the plasma enables a variety of different experiments, for example on plasma instabilities. The facility was built in Tromsø in northern Norway. For more than a decade, Peter Stubbe and Helmut Kopka led first the planning and construction phase, and later the experimental work at the facility. He was always focused on finding theoretical explanations for the various important discoveries in ionospheric and plasma physics that resulted from these experiments. In 1993, he received the John Howard Dellinger Medal of the Union of Radio Science. In the same year, the research association EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter Association) took over the Heating facility in Tromsø.

In the following years, Peter Stubbe continued his experimental work, for example at the Sura Ionospheric Modification Facility in Russia (near Nizhny Novgorod). His theoretical work, which continued to occupy him even after retirement in 2003, focused on fundamental questions of kinetic plasma theory and hydrodynamics. During his career, Peter Stubbe published more than 180 scientific articles.

With Peter Stubbe, the MPS and the scientific community lose an excellent scientist as well as a kind and thoughtful colleague and friend.  


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