Detlef Günther

ETH Zürich

Detlef Günther

2009 2009 Speaker Speaker Breakthrough Day

Detlef Günther employs newly developed laser techniques to detect fluid inclusions in minerals, which can trace the workings of our environment and climate as far back as the Preclassic period. Having begun his academic career at the University of Halle-Wittenberg in East-Germany, then still shut off behind the Wall, Günther now is Professor for Trace Element and Micro Analysis at ETH Zürich, where he serves as Deputy Chair of the Department of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences. Be it gold objects from Peru or crystals from Mexico, Günther’s research of these materials brings the understanding of our planet up to the macro level. Why a civilisation as highly developed as that of the Mayas ceased to exist is only one of the many questions Günther’s findings can serve to answer.

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