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2007 Descartes Prize Winners Announced

Photonics.com
Mar 2007
The HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System) telescope was one of three research projects funded by the European Commission to share in the €1m ($1.3 million) 2007 Descartes Prize for Research announced earlier this month in Brussels at the start of the 7th European Framework Program, "Today is Future." HESS, a system of four telescopes, each with a diameter of 13 meters, began operations in September 2004. With their wide field of vision -- equivalent to Descartes-Hess.jpg10 times the surface of the moon --
At the Descartes Prize ceremony in Brussels on March 7 are (l-r) Federal Minister for Education and Research Annette Schavan, HESS team members, European Union Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik and Descartes Grand Jury chair Claudie Haigneré, former French minister for EU Affairs and ESA astronaut.
the telescopes are used to discover new sources of cosmic gamma rays. The project brings together about 100 scientists from Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Armenia, South Africa and Namibia. Other EC-funded projects receiving the prize were Hydrosol, a team of academics and businesses from Greece, Germany, Denmark and the UK which has developed an environmentally friendly method of producing hydrogen by using the sun's energy; and Apoptosis, a collective of cell biology researchers from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden examining the mechanisms involved in programmed cell death (apoptosis) to provide future treatments for cancer and AIDS. Launched in 2000, the EU Descartes Prize for Research, named for 17th century French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes, rewards teams of scientists for outstanding scientific or technological results achieved through transnational research in any field of science.


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
telescope
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
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