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 | Source: Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information: www.uni-mainz.de/presse/15817_ENG_HTML.php
More articles from Physics and Astronomy:
CU-Boulder scientist: 2012 solar storm points up need for society to prepare
10.12.2013 | University of Colorado at Boulder
3D printing used as a tool to explain theoretical physics
09.12.2013 | Institute of Physics
The molecular architecture of three key proteins and their complexes reveals how plants fine-tune their immune response to pathogens
Plants rarely get sick in their natural environment. When the threat of infection arises, a quick decision is made about the necessary countermeasures. The course is set by a protein which forms complexes with its partner proteins for this purpose.
Jane Parker from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding ...
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question "Do the islands support one species or two species?" is actually "three species".
Hochstetter's Butterfly-orchid, newly recognized following application of a battery of scientific techniques and reveling in a complex taxonomic history worthy of Sherlock Holmes, is arguably Europe's rarest orchid species. Under threat in its mountain-top retreat, the orchid urgently requires conservation recognition.
A lavishly illustrated publication, titled "Systematic revision of Platanthera in ...
Researchers from Brown University and the University of Hawaii have found some mineralogical surprises in the Moon's largest impact crater.
Data from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper that flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter shows a diverse mineralogy in the subsurface of the giant South Pole Aitken basin.
The differing mineral signatures could be reflective of the minerals dredged up at the time of the giant impact 4 billion years ago, ...
In power electronics systems bonded connections create the central electrical connections between adjoining surfaces.
The quality of these bonded connections is one of the main factors that determines the reliability and availability of drive systems in electric vehicles, and hence constitutes a major design challenge for German auto manufacturers aiming to electrify their vehicles.
Now the partners participating in the RoBE (Robust Bonds in ...
International team of scientists develops new feedback method for optimizing the laser pulse shapes used in the control of chemical reactions
In many ways, traditional chemical synthesis is similar to cooking. To alter the final product, you can change the ingredients or their ratio, change the method of mixing ingredients, or change the temperature or pressure of the environment of the ingredients.
Like an accomplished chef, chemists have become very skilled ...
11.12.2013 | Information Technology
11.12.2013 | Life Sciences
11.12.2013 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
11.12.2013 | Event News
10.12.2013 | Event News
05.12.2013 | Event News