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Welcome to the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (MPIK, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics) in Heidelberg, one of 83 institutes and research establishments of the  Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (Max Planck Society). The MPIK does experimental and theoretical basic research in the fields of Astroparticle Physics (crossroads of particle physics and astrophysics) and Quantum Dynamics (many-body dynamics of atoms and molecules).


Latest news

Orbiting cryogenic molecules

First experiment in the cryogenic storage ring CSR of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics

After years of development and construction work, physicists of the MPI for Nuclear Physics now for the first time succeeded to hold negatively charged molecules, namely hydroxide ions (OH), at a few degrees above absolute zero orbiting inside their novel storage ring and perform experiments with them. The CSR (Cryogenic Storage Ring), a world-wide unique electrostatic storage ring for ions, is designed for operation at lowest temperatures. It enables researchers to investigate the chemistry of interstellar clouds on Earth and to gain fundamental insight into the ‘inner life’ of molecules.


A brake for X-rays

Nuclear Quantum Optics controls and slows down X-ray light

Physicists from the Heidelberg MPI for Nuclear Physics have, in collaboration with DESY and the University of Jena, demonstrated for the first time two fundamental effects of nuclear quantum optics in the X-ray regime. By resonant scattering by a thin-iron sample they managed to control the wave properties of X-ray pulses and to slow their propagation speed down by a factor of 10,000.

 Physical Review Letters 114, 207401 (2015); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.207401

 Physical Review Letters 114, 203601 (2015); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.203601

 Physics Viewpoint: Cavity with Iron Nuclei Slows Down X Rays    Nature Research Highlights: Iron atoms slow down X-rays

Images of research at MPIK

  • Profile of the first beam of argon ions in the not yet cooled CSR on March 17, 2014
  • View onto the CSR in November 2013
  • An ion with only one electron stored in a cylindrical Penning trap
  • 7 T superconducting magnet for PENTATRAP
  • A liquid-nitrogen-cooled GaAs photocathode producing cold electron beams
  • Momentum distribution of the electrons emitted in double ionization of argon
  • A view inside a femtosecond laser
  • Crystal of laser-cooled ions in a cryogenic Paul trap
  • A reaction microscope
  • Wave function for two electrons in doubly excited helium
  • Principle of the generation of an X-ray frequency comb by means of a laser-controlled gas
  • A matterless double slit consisting of two ultra-intense focused laser beams
  • Acceleration of ions (blue) by a radially polarized ultra-intensive laser beam (red)
  • Scheme of the QED contributions to the magnetic moment of a bound electron
  • Tunnel ionization of a highly charged ion at relativistic laser intensities
  • Prospected arrangement of telescopes in the CTA arrays
  • View of the full H.E.S.S. array with the four 12 m telescopes and the new 28 m H.E.S.S. II telescope
  • Image of a particle cascade viewed simultaneously by all five H.E.S.S. telescopes
  • A proton-lead collision observed by the LHCb detector
  • Predictions of the turbulent magnetic field excited ahead of a shock front
  • Integration of the acrylic vessels in the Double Chooz detector
  • Construction principle of the Nucifer detector
  • Elementary particles of the Standard Model and their hypothetical supersymmetric and seesaw partners
  • View into the GERDA cryostat with veto system partially immersed into the liquid argon
  • Photomultipliers for XENON1T in a support structure for cooling tests
  • Annihilation tracks of antiprotons in an emulsion detector
  • CAD drawing of the laser photodetachment line (ASTROLAB project)
  • Geometrical realization of solar neutrino mixing through the golden ratio


Tiefkalte Moleküle auf der Umlaufbahn

Erstes Experiment im ultrakalten Speicherring CSR des...


Magische Neutronenzahl bestätigt

Dem ISOLTRAP-Team ist es erstmals gelungen, die...


Eine Bremse für Röntgenstrahlen

Nukleare Quantenoptik kontrolliert und verlangsamt...


Ein Plasma aus Materie und Antimaterie

Erstmals wurde ein neuartiger Zustand der Materie, ein...