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Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics important partner of new Helmholtz Alliance

Contributing with several projects the MPI für Kernphysik Heidelberg is one of the core partners of the new Helmholtz Alliance "Extremes of Density and Temperature: Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory" which was approved on Nov. 7 2007.

The senate of the Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft deutscher Forschungszentren (HGF) has, on Nov. 7 2007, approved the proposal of the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) Darmstadt for the Helmholtz Alliance "Extremes of Density and Temperature: Cosmic Matter in the Laboratory".

A central goal is the interdisciplinary investigation of matter under extreme conditions: from extremely hot matter of the big bang to ultra-cold quantum gases.

Contributing with several projects the MPI für Kernphysik Heidelberg is one of the core partners of the Alliance. In Joachim Ullrich's department world-leading "Electron Beam Ion Traps" and high-energy collisions at GSI are used to generate and to study matter under extreme conditions which are common, however, on star surfaces or even in supernova explosions. Selim Jochim, Juniorprofessor at the Institute, is working towards finite systems of ultracold fermions, an important goal within the Alliance.

The tunability of the interactions between these ultracold particles makes them an especially versatile model system. The department of Christoph Keitel supports the Alliance by calculations on the interaction of matter with extreme laser fields with emphasis on relativistic quantum dynamics, nuclear processes and quantum electrodynamic effects. The appointment of Klaus Blaum to the institute performing high-precision measurements of nuclear masses will place the MPIK among the top laboratories in the international scene exploring the question of heavy-elements genesis in stellar explosions, a further central research topic within the Alliance.

The Alliance connects GSI with the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik and 6 other national partners (TU Darmstadt, Univ. Frankfurt, FIAS Frankfurt, Univ. Heidelberg, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Univ. Münster) as well as 4 international partners (Univ. Paris VI, France, Univ. Tokyo and RIKEN, Japan, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics, USA). Leading international scientists, among them two Nobel laureates, will serve as associate partners. With this Alliance its partners will push forward the frontier of 'extreme matter' research. The HGF supports the Alliance with 18.75 Millions of Euros for a period of 5 years.

Dr. Bernold Feuerstein | idw
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