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Welcome to the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (MPIK, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics) in Heidelberg, one of 84 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


Water enhances radiation damage


Ultrafast energy transfer in hydrated biomolecules releases reactive products that can lead to further damage, e.g. in DNA

There are more ways for radioactive radiation damage in tissue than previously known. Physicists at the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics have discovered that ionizing radiation can deposit energy in water molecules which is subsequently transferred to neighboring biomolecules. As a product of this ultrafast reaction electrons and charged molecules are released that can cause further damage in their vicinity. As a result, the biological effect of this intermolecular coulomb decay is very high and it can lead to irreparable lesions in the DNA molecule.

 Nature Physics, July 23, 2018

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
  • MOCCA, the microcalorimeter detector for the Cryogenic Storage Ring CSR
  • The emergence of a spectral line (Fano profile)
  • „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
  • Schematic representation of interactions in extremely intense laser pulses: pair creation and spin-dependent trajectories
  • Illustration of laser control in atoms and 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 in the centre
  • Image of a particle cascade viewed simultaneously by all five H.E.S.S. telescopes
  • One of the "outrigger" tanks in front of the main detector array of the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory
  • A proton-lead collision observed by the LHCb detector
  • Integration of the acrylic vessels in the Double Chooz detector
  • The four germanium detectors of the neutrino experiment CONUS inside their shielding
  • 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
  • Gold-plated mirror for a novel detector module in mid-infrared at the Cryogenic Trap for Fast ion beams (CTF).
  • Illustration of the rotational symmetry of an octahedron, used to construct models for fermion mixing
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