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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

New Division: Non-thermal Astrophysics

From the 1st of December, Jim Hinton director at the MPIK

Prof. James A. Hinton has accepted the position as Scientific Member and Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik in Heidelberg. His division will focus on the origin and impact of ultra-relativistic cosmic particles – the so-called 'cosmic rays'.

Jim Hinton received his PhD from the University of Leeds in 1998 and worked on several gamma-ray and cosmic experiments as a post-doc and research fellow, based in the UK, the US and including a 4 year spell here at the MPIK (2002-2006). In 2010 he took up a Chair at the University of Leicester. Jim Hinton is an experimental astroparticle physicist whose work has been recognised by the award of four research prizes, most recently the Philip Leverhulme Prize and the Royal Society Wolfson Award.

The new division "Non-thermal Astrophysics" will focus on the origin and impact of ultra-relativistic cosmic particles – the so-called 'cosmic rays'. Working closely together with the division of Werner Hofmann, the initial experimental focus will be on the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) project. The MPIK instrumentation effort will be primarily on high-performance Cherenkov cameras for two of the three telescope types of the gamma-ray observatory, focusing on the medium to high energy (0.1-300 TeV) part of the CTA range. Data from CTA will be combined with that from other observatories, operating at all wavelengths from the radio to gamma-ray, to study cosmic particle acceleration and feedback on scales from clusters of galaxies down to the colliding winds of individual massive stars.

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


Neue Abteilung: Nichtthermische Astrophysik

Jim Hinton ab 01. Dezember Direktor am MPIK


Jörg Evers erhält Röntgenpreis

Wichtiger Preis für jüngere Wissenschaftler


Viktor Ambartsumian International Prize für Felix Aharonian

Bedeutender Preis für Astronomie und Astrophysik


H.E.S.S.-Preis für Petter Hofverberg

Die H.E.S.S.-Kollaboration hat bei ihrem Herbstmeeting in...