The Max-Planck-Institut für Physik is one of the almost 80 autonomous research institutes of the Max-Planck-Society. Founded in 1917 in Berlin, then as Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik, it moved several times during its eventful history, finally in 1958 under the directorate of Werner Heisenberg and Ludwig Biermann to its present site in Munich.
The institute´s research is devoted mainly to studies of the fundamental constituents of matter, their interactions, and the role they play in astrophysics.
The theoretical work focuses mainly on the field theory of strong interaction, phenomenological studies of high energy physics, studies of possible extensions of the Standard Model and on the mathematical foundations of quantum theory, and addresses open questions in astroparticle physics theory.
The experimental research comprises extensive participation in high-energy physics experiments which are being conducted by international collaborations at the large accelerators at DESY, Brookhaven and CERN and in particle-astrophysics experiments performed at La Palma (Canarian Islands) and the Gran Sasso Underground Laboratory.
The questions addressed in the accelerator experiments are precision tests of the Standard Model of particle physics, the study of lepton-quark interaction and of the inner structure of the proton, the search for the quark-gluon-plasma, the state of matter which presumably did exist in an early phase of the universe shortly after the big-bang, measurements of CP-violation in decays of B-mesons, and the study of the top quark and search for the Higgs-boson and for supersymmetry at the future LHC machine presently being constructed. The institute´s particle-astrophysics activities comprise the study of sources of high energy cosmic radiation and the search for weakly interacting dark matter. The research program is completed by some smaller short-scale projects, spin-offs of the large experiments.
Together with the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik operates a research laboratory devoted to the development of innovative semiconductor detectors for the institutes´ experimental projects.
The institute is lead by a board of directors, presently comprising S. Bethke (managing director), A. Caldwell, W. Hollik, L. Stodolsky, and M. Teshima, and has more than 150 scientists (including long term guests and PhD students) working in its theoretical and experimental divisions.
Most of the directors and a number of the staff scientists are teaching at one or the other of the two Munich Universities, LMU and TUM. In addition, the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik continuously offers a large variety of Diploma and PhD theses in essentially all the experimental projects and in the theory division. Since many years the institute hosts an extensive guest program, allowing scientists from all over the world to join one of the groups and work at the Max-Planck-Institut für Physik for some time.
Further Information: www.mppmu.mpg.de/