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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

How to spin down a molecule

First experiment with an organic interstellar molecular ion in the cryogenic storage ring CSR

The CH+ molecular ion, which is abundant in space, was studied for the first time under interstellar conditions in the new Cryogenic Storage Ring (CSR). The CSR, located at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, provides ambient temperatures below 10 K. Fragmentation of CH+ into C+ and H by ultraviolet light was measured at energies close to the reaction threshold. The experimental result was found to be very well reproduced by theoretical calculations that enabled the determination of the time-dependent populations of the individual rotational states. This success demonstrates the potential of the CSR for controlled experiments with cold molecular ions.

 Physical Review Letters, 17 March 2016

Images of research at MPIK

  • Artist‘s view of the reaction between protonated water and electrons in the CSR
  • Copper strips distribute the cold to the experimental vacuum chambers of the CSR
  • The atomic mass of a bound electron is balanced by QED contributions in increasing order, playing the role of a precision mass set
  • Electrodes of a Penning trap
  • A liquid-nitrogen-cooled GaAs photocathode producing cold electron beams
  • Momentum distribution of the electrons emitted in double ionization of argon
  • „Chirped mirror“ arrangement for ultrashort Laser pulses
  • 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
  • Controllable delay of x-ray photons with nuclei
  • A laser-induced splitting gradient is used to store the complete frequency spectrum of a broadband pulse in a resonant medium
  • Tunnel ionization of a highly charged ion at relativistic laser intensities
  • Cameras for CTA: CHEC for small telescopes in front of FlashCam for medium-sized telescopes
  • 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
  • The GERDA detector strings with Nylon shielding and optical fibre
  • The upper photomultiplier array for the XENON1T experiment searching for Dark Matter
  • Annihilation tracks of antiprotons in an emulsion detector
  • CAD drawing of the laser photodetachment line (ASTROLAB project)
  • Illustration of the rotational symmetry of an octahedron, used to construct models for fermion mixing


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