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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

Search for Dark Matter with a novel method

According to the most current theoretical models, the hypothetical Dark-Matter particles interact with atomic nuclei. However, such interactions could not be verified to date. The scientists of the XENON collaboration now have developed novel analysis techniques to search for the first time in the data of the XENON100 detector for interactions of Dark Matter with electrons of the atomic shell. The analysis did not yield any signal above the very low background, further constraining the properties of Dark Matter. This finding is of particular importance with respect to the results of the DAMA/LIBRA collaboration. It claims the detection of a Dark-Matter signal with high significance, while the search by other experiments for interactions with atomic nuclei was not successful. A number of theoretical models which tried to explain this discrepancy assuming interaction of Dark-Matter particles with electrons are thus excluded. This will probably revive the controversy about alternative explanations of the DAMA/LIBRA signal.


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 complex inner structure of the CSR just before its successful commissioning at cryogenic temperatures in April 2015
  • The atomic mass of a bound electron is balanced by QED contributions in increasing order, playing the role of a precision mass set
  • Electrodes of a Penning trap
  • 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
  • Controllable delay of x-ray photons with nuclei
  • A laser-induced splitting gradient is used to store the complete frequency spectrum of a broadband pulse in a resonant medium
  • Tunnel ionization of a highly charged ion at relativistic laser intensities
  • An artist‘s view of a CTA array observing a particle shower
  • 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)
  • Illustration of the rotational symmetry of an octahedron, used to construct models for fermion mixing


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