Dark Matter Physicist Wins Presidential Young Scholar Award ({{commentsTotal}})

This year's presidential young scholar for 2014 is astrophysicist Elmo Tempel, who has investigated the structure and origins of the universe.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves handed over the award, which is given to a researcher 35 and under, at a ceremony on Thursday in Tallinn.  

Tempel, a Tartu Observatory researcher who has completed a postdoctorate degree at the Institute of Chemical and Biological Physics and is a member of the Research Council, also wins a cash award of 4,000 euros.

Tempel has studied dark matter, thought to account for much of the universe's mass, and the properties of the galactic filaments that according to one paradigm make up the structure of the universe.

Another, related field of study for Tempel is the origin of galaxies and how galactic formation and growth are influenced by the structure of the universe.

Ilves also credited Tempel for his work with schoolchildren, popularizing astronomy and organizing observatory events.

"Without the interest of youths or young scientists, Estonian science and research and Estonia would not have the brightest future. Thus it's especially important that science be popularized by scientists themselves," said Ilves at the event at his official residence in Kadriorg.

Since the award was established in 2000, most have gone to scientists or mathematicians, with two winners representing the humanities. Last year's winner was Jaak Kals, a medical researcher.