Ralf S. Klessen

Professor for theoretical astrophysics
Heidelberg University

Ralf S. Klessen is Professor for Theoretical Astrophysics at Heidelberg University. His research activities focus on the formation of stars at present days and in the early universe, on the dynamics of the interstellar medium, on astrophysical turbulence, and on the development of numerical methods for computational astrophysics.

Principal Investigator

Further information

Research interest
Field of Expertise
Selected publications
Complete list of publications
Contact details

Research interest

  • Star Formation: What are the physical processes that govern the birth of stars and their planetary systems in our Milky Way and in distant galaxies throughout the cosmic ages? What can we learn from that about our cosmic origin? 
  • Multi-Phase ISM: How do the different phases of the ISM evolve and interact with each other to form new stars, and how does this depend on environmental parameters? 
  • Turbulence: What are the fundamental processes that control turbulent astrophysical flows, and what is the best approach for their mathematical description?
  • Feedback: What triggers and regulates star formation on different scales? How does feedback from massive stars influence the dynamical and chemical evolution of our Galaxy?

Field of Expertise

  • astronomy and astrophysics
  • computational physics
  • star formation
  • dynamics of the interstellar medium

Selected publications

  • “Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium”, Klessen, R.S., Glover, S.C.O., 2016, in Star Formation in Galaxy Evolution: Connecting Numerical Models to Reality, Saas-Fee Advanced Course 43 (Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg), 85 – 249
  • “Constraining the Primordial Initial Mass Function with Stellar Archaeology”, Hartwig, T., Bromm, V., Klessen, R.S., Glover, S.C.O., 2015, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 447, 3892 – 3908
  • “A Model for the Saturation of the Turbulent Dynamo”, Schober, J., Schleicher, D.R.G., Feder- rath, C., Bovino, S., Klessen, R.S., 2015, Physical Review E, 92, 023010, 1 – 12
  • “Protostars and Planets VI”, 2014, Beuther, H., Klessen, R.S., Dullemond, C.P., Henning, T., (eds.), University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 914 pages (ISBN-13: 978-0816531240)
  • “Simulations on a Moving Mesh: The Clustered Formation of Population III Protostars”, Greif, T., Springel, V., White, S.D.M., Glover, S.C.O., Clark, P.C., Smith, R.J., Klessen, R.S., Bromm, V., 2011, The Astrophysical Journal, 737, 75 (1 – 17)

Contact details


Room 104
69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 6221 54 8978
Fax: +49 6221 54 4221

Email of assistent: klinger-araifa@zah.uni-heidelberg.de

Bernhard Höfle
Ekaterina Kostina