Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On the hunt for dark matter

09.11.2012
Ceremonial dedication of the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence / EUR 35 million to promote top-level research in particle and hadron physics

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) inaugurated its "Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter" (PRISMA) Cluster of Excellence.

About 250 scientists have now officially begun their work in the new research association, which was approved in the most recent phase of the German Excellence Initiative by the German federal and state governments. Over the next five years, the cluster will be funded with about EUR 35 million from the German government, the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz for top-level research into particle and hadron physics. Mainz has thus established itself as the center for particle and hadron physics in Germany and the world.

"We are very proud of the achievements of the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence in view of the tough competition we faced from other universities throughout Germany," said the President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Professor Dr. Georg Krausch. The fact that our core research in particle and hadron physics performed so well in the Excellence Initiative illustrates the international standing of the scientists working at JGU. I would like to express my utmost appreciation and deep gratitude to everyone involved for the great performance and commitment. PRISMA is composed of leading research groups whose global scientific reputation is well-established with publications, awards, and their excellent positions in national and international rankings. For example, the DFG Funding Atlas 2012 shows that Physics and Mathematics at Mainz University attract the highest levels of third-party funding in Germany. "Moreover, its success also confirms that we are proceeding in the right direction by focusing on science and research at our university," the President continued. "The additional funding from the Excellence Initiative provides our university with an excellent foundation to continue down this path, as will be reflected by further success in such future competitions."

The scientists involved in PRISMA pursue the fundamental questions about the structure of matter and the fundamental forces at work in the universe, including the experimental detectability of dark matter or the general creation of matter. The setting up and operation of large research facilities in Mainz for the international community of particle and hadron physicists are specifically intended to answer such questions. Approximately EUR 10 million are planned to be invested in the construction of the novel particle accelerator MESA, i.e., the Mainz Energy-Recovering Superconducting Accelerator. What is particularly innovative here is that MESA can achieve immense intensity at much lower energy costs compared to conventional accelerators. "MESA is the first of its kind in the world," said Professor Dr. Hartmut Wittig, one of the two PRISMA spokespersons, who hopes to find experimental evidence of the nature of dark matter in the universe using the new accelerator. "Specifically, we want to use MESA to track down the dark photon, which mediates the reaction between the visible matter known to us and dark matter."

The construction of an international center for theoretical physics, the so-called Mainz Institute for Theoretical Physics (MITP), is already in full swing. Researchers from the international community will be able to conduct research programs and workshops on current issues there. In addition, the MITP will offer events on exciting developments in particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology to the general public. "There is nothing like it yet in Germany," the other PRISMA spokesperson and designated director of the MITP, Professor Dr. Matthias Neubert, said. "The establishment of the MITP will allow us to fill a gap in the German research landscape."

An additional step is the expansion of the proven research reactor TRIGA into an international research facility. This will also enable PRISMA researchers to participate extensively in important experiments around the world. The most noteworthy experiments include the ATLAS experiment at the European research center CERN in Switzerland, the XENON experiment at Gran Sasso in Italy, and the IceCube project in Antarctica.

The Minister of Science for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Doris Ahnen, also recognized the success of PRISMA in the German Excellence Initiative: "The start of funding for PRISMA is the culmination of years of hard work and an internationally renowned success story for both Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and, in particular, Mainz physicists, of whom I am very proud." The state has made an important financial contribution especially within the framework of its research initiative. So, in total, EUR 100 million will be available to the four Rhineland-Palatinate universities until 2013, in addition to their basic funding. This money will be used solely to promote and sustain research so that strong research associations can be established and expanded and so that researchers will benefit from an unparalleled infrastructure.

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de/presse/15817_ENG_HTML.php
http://www.prisma.uni-mainz.de/
http://www.dfg.de/en/research_funding/programmes/excellence_initiative/index.html

Further reports about: Cluster of Excellence Excellence Award JGU MESA Prisma dark matter

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>