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Non-Thermal Astrophysics

Division Prof. Dr. Jim Hinton

Research in the division covers two main areas: 

  • high-energy astrophysics exploring the sources and acceleration processes of high-energy particles in the Universe, and
  • probing particle physics beyond the Standard Model.

Our high energy astrophysics research is based primarily on ground-based gamma-ray astronomy using atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes and dense particle detector arrays to measure gamma rays emitted by high-energy particles in our Galaxy and beyond. The division has contributed major elements of the hardware of the H.E.S.S. Cherenkov telescopes and the HAWC high-energy extension, and plays a significant role in preparing the next generation Cherenkov Telescope Array - CTA. The group is also heavily engaged with research and development towards the Southern Wide-field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory – SWGO. Associated research groups cover the theory and phenomenology of high energy astrophysics, plasma astrophysics and infrared astrophysics.

Exploring the properties of neutrinos, and in particular the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, is another major activity of the division. We play a leading role in the LEGEND project at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory, following up on the success of its predecessor GERDA

In the area of accelerator-based particle physics projects we are members of the LHCb collaboration, focusing on the study of heavy-quark production and decays, with emphasis on the phase space relevant to both particle physics and cosmic-ray physics.

Research Fields

Associated research activities



Could Star Clusters be “PeVatrons”?

HAWC has detected cosmic gamma rays with energies up to at least 200 Teraelectron volt (TeV, 1012 eV) from the direction of the “Cygnus Cocoon”. This…

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New Managing Director

At the turn of the year, Prof. Dr. Jim Hinton on a rotational basis took over the Institute management of MPIK. Deputy for the next 18 months is…

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Another milestone in the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay

The GERmanium Detector Array (GERDA) experiment at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) of INFN, Italy, has reported its final results on…

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