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Obituary to Michael Müller- Preußker

In memory of

Michael Müller- Preußker (1946 – 2015)


Michael Müller-Preußker was born in Potsdam on September 26 1946, and finished high school in 1965. He studied physics at Humboldt University in Berlin, and graduated in 1973.  His PhD thesis was entitled "Sum rules for partial wave amplitudes at finite energy in the helicity formalism.”  From 1972-1993 Müller-Preußker had a position as assistant and then as senior assistant in the  "Particles and Fields" research group of Humboldt University.

In the years 1978-1983 he had interim positions at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna. There he began his important work on the non-perturbative analysis of quantum field theories within the framework of lattice field theory, a subject which he worked on enthusiastically right up to the end of his life. One should mention in particular his contributions to our understanding of the ground state of Quantum Chromodynamics, his results concerning the topological structure of gauge theories, and his work on the phase transition of hadronic matter to the quark-gluon plasma.

After the peaceful revolution in East Germany in 1989, Müller-Preußker accepted a professorship in theoretical physics at the University of Bielefeld.  In 1993 he became University Professor for the Theory of Elementary Particles at Humboldt University, and until his retirement in 2011, and even afterwards as Senior Professor, he was the leader of the Phenomenology/Lattice Gauge Theory group. His research often involved collaborations with other research groups working in these areas, and German-Russian research collaborations were always of central interest to him. He had intensive contacts with CERN in Geneva, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and the Technical University of Vienna.

During the restructuring of Humboldt University in 1994-1996, Müller-Preußker served as Vice President of the University.  From 2002 to 2006, a period when new bachelors and masters degree courses were introduced in the curriculum, he was Vice Dean for Teaching and Studies at the Faculty I of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.  From 2006 to 2010 he was managing director of the Institute of Physics of Humboldt University.

In 2011 Müller-Preußker was elected as president-designate of the Physical Society of Berlin (PGzB), and this was followed by his presidency of that organization in 2012-2014.  He obtained funding from Siemens AG, Berlin, for the  Physics Studies Prize awarded to outstanding master’s degree students by the PGzB.  He further campaigned for a new prize for inspiring physics teachers, and this prize  was established in 2015. He was significantly involved in the reorganization of the archive of the PGzB Magnus-Haus in Berlin, particularly with regard to the unification of the German Physical Society and the PGzB with the Physical Society of the DDR.

Michael Müller-Preußker passed away in Berlin on October 12, 2015.

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