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.
Associated research activities
- Max Planck Research Group Astrophysical Plasma Theory (Brian Reville)
- High-Energy Astrophysics Theory (Felix Aharonian)
- Infrared Astrophysics (Richard Tuffs)
- Director emeritus Werner Hofmann
- Director emeritus Heinrich J. Völk
- Relativistic Astrophysics (Heisenberg Fellow Frank Rieger, MPIK&ITA University of Heidelberg)
The "Astronomy Picture of the Day" from 6 September 2023 features a short film showing gamma astronomy with the H.E.S.S. telescopes in Namibia. Over…
The Astrophysical Plasma Theory group at MPIK demonstrated that supernova remnant shocks interacting with collective wind outflows of massive star…