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Apl. Prof. Dr. Andreas Wolf

Senior Research Physicist (emeritus)

Apl. Prof. Dr. Andreas Wolf (emeritus)
Name Apl. Prof. Dr. Andreas Wolf
Phone +49 6221 516-503
Secretary: +49 6221 516-851
Bldg., Room GE 11a, 211
Address Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik
Saupfercheckweg 1
D 69117 Heidelberg


As former group leader of the research field "Molecular quantum dynamics and stored ion beams" of the division, I support ongoing research at the cryogenic storage ring CSR.

Research interests

Experimental quantum dynamics of free atoms, molecules and small clusters using stored and cooled ion beams in low-energy ion storage rings. Interaction of the ions with low-energy electrons in merged beams and with laser radiation. – Techniques for storage and cooling of charged atoms and molecules. – Atomic and molecular collision physics and spectroscopy. – Atomic and molecular processes in astrophysics.

Present research

Atomic, molecular and cluster physics with the cryogenic, electrostatic ion storage ring CSR at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany. Cryogenic low-energy merged electron beam at the CSR. Laser interaction with anionic and cationic atoms and molecules in the storage ring CSR.

ORCID web page externer Link



Researcher Portfolio in the CoNE Service externer Link



During my physics studies at TU Berlin, I worked on experimental atomic spectroscopy with special emphasis on atomic quantum coherence and radiative decay lifetimes (Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik, Diploma in 1980 with Prof. G. von Oppen).

From 1981 to 1988, living in Geneva. Switzerland, I worked at CERN for a doctoral thesis and a post-doctoral project at the Low-Energy Antiproton Storage Ring (LEAR), most of the time delegated from Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Institut für Kernphysik). In the research group of Dr. H. Poth, I participated in the planning and building of the electron cooling device for LEAR (Dr. rer. nat. at University Karlsruhe in 1985, supervised by H. Poth and Prof. A. Citron). Experimental work included Thomson scattering on free electrons, and antiprotonic atoms. In my post-doctoral work at CERN I participated in early project studies related to atomic antimatter (antihydrogen).

In 1988 I joined the experimental research group lead by Prof. D. Schwalm and Prof. D. Habs on atomic physics at the heavy-ion Test Storage Ring (TSR) at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. The work enabled the first precision experiments on the dielectronic recombination of multicharged ions at a heavy-ion storage ring (1989) and the first detection of laser-induced electron–ion recombination (1991) at the TSR. I also participated in the experiments on the first laser cooling of ion beams in a heavy-ion storage ring (1990). In collaborative experiments with the Weizmann Institute of Science (D. Zajfman, Z. Vager) I focused on the exploration of molecular ion beams in a heavy-ion storage ring, which enabled pioneering precision studies on the dissociative recombination of molecular ions with a merged electron beam in a storage ring. Atomic and molecular studies, aiming partly at high-precision spectroscopy, partly at astrophysically relevant electron–ion recombination and linked to further extensive experimental developments, characterized my further work as research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics.

Since about 2004 I participated in the planning and construction of a new project aiming at improved control of the internal energy of molecular ions in a storage ring: the electrostatic cryogenic storage ring CSR (reporting first operation in 2016) at the Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics. Atomic, molecular and cluster ions are stored under cryogenic screening of the terrestrial background radiation in extreme vacuum to simulate the conditions in interstellar space. I am collaborating with the research group of Dr. H. Kreckel and Dr. O. Novotny at the CSR, where collisions of internally cold molecular ions with merged beams of electrons and atoms, as well as the internal de-excitation of molecular and cluster ions, are studied.


since 2020: Emeritus Research Scientist (Scientific Visitor) in the Division of Stored and Cooled Ions (Prof. K. Blaum), Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany
since 1998: Außerplanmäßiger Professor (Adjunct Professor), Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, University of Heidelberg, Germany
1980-1981: Graduate research student, TU Berlin
1981-1984: PhD student at CERN from Universität Karlsruhe
1984-1986: Research position (Fellowship) at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
1986-1988: Postdoctoral researcher, Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany, and Research Associate at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
1988-1993: Hochschulassistent at University of Heidelberg, Germany
1993-1997: Hochschuldozent (Assistant Professor) at University of Heidelberg, Germany
1997-2020: Senior Research Scientist, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg, Germany

Education and qualifications

07/1992: Habilitation, University of Heidelberg
04/1985: PhD Degree (Dr. rer. nat.), University of Karlsruhe, “Elektronenkühlung für niederenergetische Antiprotonen” (Prof. A. Citron)
07/1980: Diplom in physics, Technische Universität Berlin, “Kaskaden-Effekte bei Level-Crossing-Untersuchungen an der 667.8 nm-Linie im He I Spektrum und Lebensdauermessungen an f- und g-Termen“ (Prof. G. von Oppen)

Invited positions and distinctions

1984-1986: Fellow at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
02/1999-04/1999: Research stay at Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
04/2008-05/2008: Research stay at LOMC, University of Le Havre, France
11/2021: Dieter Möhl Medal hosted by CERN