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Welcome to the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (MPIK, Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics) in Heidelberg, one of 86 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


Chemistry of the cosmological dark ages studied in the lab


New measurements imply dramatically higher abundance of helium hydride ions in the early universe

Physicists report the first laboratory measurements of electron reactions with helium hydride ions in the cryogenic storage ring CSR at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. At temperatures down to 6 K, the reaction rates destroying the molecule were found to be significantly lower, compared to previous measurements at room temperature. This translates into a strongly enhanced abundance of this primordial molecule acting as a coolant for first star and galaxy formation in the early universe. [Science, 18 July 2019]

 more (idw press release) ...

 Original publication (Science)

 Video/Interview (Youtube)

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
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

22.07.19

Vor 50 Jahren: Mondgestein am MPIK

Josef Zähringer gehörte zu den ersten Forschern, die 1969...


19.07.19

Auszeichung der Universität Heidelberg als Exzellenzuniversität

MPIK ist am Exzellenzcluster STRUCTURES beteiligt


18.07.19

Chemie des kosmologischen Dunklen Zeitalters im Labor untersucht

Neue Messungen ergeben eine dramatisch höhere Häufigkeit...


02.07.19

FlashCam-Elektronik hilft Ionenstrahltherapie zu verbessern

Bei der Ionenstrahltherapie ist es das Ziel, malignes...