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News (August 2019) Electron recombination studies of the "First Molecule" HeH+ published in Science

Detailed  electron recombination studies inside the Cryogenic Storage Ring (CSR) yield the first quantum-state-selective recombination rates for this important primordial molecule. The results suggest an enhanced abundance of HeH+ at redshifts relevant to the formation of the first stars and galaxies.

Congratulations to Olda Novotny, Andreas Wolf and the entire CSR Ecool team!

Check out the original publication:
Science 365, 676–679 (2019)



News (June 2018): Our measurements on rate coefficients for key reactions in the gas phase water formation chain published in Science Advances

We have used a 22pole ion trap to study two reactions that are crucial for the formation of water in the diffuse interstellar medium. The experiments were carried out at low temperatures and densities to mimick interstellar environments. Our experimental work is corroborated by theoretical caulculations performed by our collaborators Y. Suleimanov and H. Guo.

Check out the original publication:
Science Advances  22 Jun 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 6, eaar3417
  doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar3417

Here is the  link to the press release at the Homepage of the Max Planck Society:



News: photodetachment of OH- published in PRL / Highlighted as a Physics: Focus (August 2017)

After the demonstration of rotational cooling of positive ions with CH+, we can also show (in more detail  even) that negative ions in the CSR reach their lowest quantum states. The corresponding paper has been published in PRL and highlighted as a Physics Focus.

Check out the full publication:  https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.023202

Physics Focus:  https://physics.aps.org/articles/v10/93



Dr. Sunil Kumar accepts Professor Position at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Tirupati, India (March 2017)

Our group member Dr. Sunil Kumar has accepted a Professor position at  Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Tirupati, India. Sunil has worked on several challenging projects in our group, from designing an extremely sensitive mid-IR detector module, to rate coefficient measurements in a 22-Pole ion trap and participation in beam times at the Cryogenic Storage Ring. In his new positions, he will continue to work with astrophysically relevant molecular ions.

Congratulations, Sunil!

News: First results from CSR published in PRL (March 2016)

Results from the first cryogenic phase of the CSR were published in PRL. We studied the near-threshold photodissociation of CH+ inside the storage ring. In combination with state-of-the-art theoretical calculations we were able to assign all resonances of the photodissociation spectra for J=0-2 and monitor the slow rotational decay inside the CSR for up to 240s. After about 1 minute of storage time, only the two lowest rotational states hold significant population fractions.

Check out the full publication:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.116.113002



Laboratory Astrophysics 2015 / Workshop at MPIK

We hosted the 2015 meeting on Laboratory Astrophysics on Oct 1-2 2015 at MPIK. The meeting brings together the German groups working in the field plus selected international guests.  The workshop website can be found here:

News: First beam stored in the CSR!

On March 17th 2014 the first ion beam was successfully stored in the Cryogenic Storage Ring (CSR).

Although the CSR has not been cooled yet to liquid helium temperature, this milestone constitutes a huge success,
as the storage ring optics and the detectors are all connected and functioning as foreseen.

Congratulations to Robert von Hahn, Manfred Grieser, Andreas Wolf, and the entire CSR team,
including the technical units and the workshops!



First beam stored in the CSR on March 17th 2014. The image shows the CSR before the outer isolation vacuum chambers were closed (Image credit: R. Lackner). The inset shows the signal of the first stored ion beam (Credit: M. Grieser)
First beam stored in the CSR

News: Our Coulomb Explosion results with Chiral Molecules were published in SCIENCE

In collaboration with the group of Prof. Oliver Trapp (Heidelberg University),
we have taken the first snapshots of enantio-selected chiral molecules in the gas phase.

Check out the press release at the  Max Planck Society webpage and the original publication below.

Original Publication:
Philipp Herwig, Kerstin Zawatzky, Manfred Grieser, Oded Heber, Brandon Jordon-Thaden,
Claude Krantz, Oldrich Novotný, Roland Repnow, Volker Schurig, Dirk Schwalm, Zeev Vager,
Andreas Wolf, Oliver Trapp, Holger Kreckel:
Imaging the absolute configuration of a chiral epoxide in the gas phase
Science, Vol. 342, Seite 1084, 29. November 2013
  DOI: 10.1126/science.1246549


Dr. Holger Kreckel

Research Group Leader
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik
Tel.: +49 6221 516 517