Lex Kaper

Lex Kaper is the recipient of the 2019 Descartes-Huygens Prize. He has been awarded the prize for his outstanding research in astronomy and his contribution to Franco-Dutch relations.

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Lex Kaper is Professor of Astronomy at the University of Amsterdam.

Kaper studies the formation, evolution and fate of massive stars (gamma-ray bursts). He also develops astronomical instruments. For example, he is one of the inventors of X-SHOOTER, the world’s most sensitive spectrograph (an instrument that disperses light into different wavelengths – i.e. colours – in the form of a spectrum). Kaper is currently involved in the development of MOSAIC, a multi-object spectrograph that will be located on the European Extremely Large Telescope currently under construction.

Kaper works closely with the Meudon Observatory in Paris. Their collaboration has resulted in a number of important scientific publications and the MOSAIC project. They are in the process of setting up a European training and exchange network for students and postdocs, and the Descartes-Huygens Prize will support Kaper’s contribution to these projects.