The new IMPRS "Precision Tests of Fundamental Symmetries" is organised by the departments of Prof. Klaus Blaum, Prof. Werner Hofmann and Prof. Manfred Lindner in collaboration with the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, the Physics Institute and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of Heidelberg. The school's topics are experimental and theoretical precision tests of fundamental symmetries in particle, nuclear, atomic and astroparticle physics.
With the setup of a new International Max Planck Research School "Precision Tests of Fundamental Symmetries" (IMPRS-PTFS), Heidelberg continues to gain international appeal for young scientists. In addition to the existing IMPRS "Astronomy and Cosmic Physics" (since 2004, MPI for Astronomy) and "Quantum Dynamics in Physics, Chemistry and Biology" (since 2007, MPI for Nuclear Physics) the new school now covers another active research field which is especially devoted to fundamental problems of particle, nuclear, atomic and astroparticle physics. Here, at the crossroads of the physics of the largest (cosmology) and smallest scales (particle physics) an outstanding experimental precision is required, as it is provided by the most advanced technologies in atomic and nuclear physics.
Symmetries play a fundamental role in the mathematical basis - the laws which govern the interaction of particles and their properties. Related questions concern the asymmetry between matter and antimatter in the universe, which we ultimately owe our existence, and the nature of "dark matter" and "dark energy", which together account for more than 95% of the total energy of the cosmos. In addition to precision experiments also innovative theoretical approaches are required and networking among the total of ten sub-regions results in a remarkable degree of interdisciplinarity.
Promoting the latter is another objective of the IMPRS-PTFS. At the same time the cooperation of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics with the University of Heidelberg is also being expanded: seventeen leading scientists from the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, the Physics Institute and the Institute for Theoretical Physics, together with seven colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics take responsibility for the scientific program in research and teaching as tutors and lecturers. Two sections of the "Heidelberg Graduate School of Fundamental Physics", namely 'Astronomy and Cosmic Physics' and 'Quantum Dynamics and Complex Quantum Systems', are already successfully and synergistically linked to the two existing IMPRS. The new school will complement this cooperation to the third area, 'Fundamental Interactions and Cosmology'. Speaker of the IMPRS-PTFS is Prof. Manfred Lindner, his deputy is Prof. Klaus Blaum; Coordinator is Dr. Werner Rodejohann (all MPI for Nuclear Physics).
The Max Planck Society endows the school with annually € 350,000 for a period of six years. This figure includes 10 scholarships and funds for workshops and visiting scholars. Three scholarships are provided by the university, in addition to approximately 12 PhD positions provided by each of both partners. The school aims to achieve a share of more than 50% of foreign students. The new IMPRS-PTFS is scheduled to start on April 1st 2010.
Dr. Bernold Feuerstein | Max-Planck-Institut
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