Research: High energy (astro-) particle physics


Picture from
          Johannes Blümer


1. Neutrino AstronomyIceCube
        logo

Main goal is to discover high energy neutrinos from the universe and establish a new observational window. We search for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. Neutrino telescopes are powerful tools to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the still enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature.
We are participating in the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole. IceCube is the world largest and most sensitive instrument for h
igh energy extraterrestrial neutrinos. It is an ice Cherenkov detector of more than 1 Gton mass and 1km3 size.

Our main research goals areIceCube Aachen logo

More information:

2.Neutrino physics

Neutrinos are enigmatic elementary particles which are almost invisible but allow a very clean and distinct view into the subatomic world. Oscillations of neutrinos are strong evidence for new physics beyond the standard model.
Our goal is to measure fundamental neutrino properties:

Measurement of the fundmental and unknown mixing angle q13 physics with the Double-Chooz Neutrino Reactor Neutrino Oscillation Experiment at the Chooz nuclear reactor in France.

3. Indirect search for dark matterNASA/CXC/CfA/M.Markevitchet al.

There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of dark matter in the universe but its constituents and the corresponding particle have not been identified to date.

Annihilation or decay of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS) can result in high energy neutrinos. We search for neutrino signals from the direction of the galactic center and for diffuse signals from the galactic halo with IceCube and DeepCore.

4. Cosmic ray physics

rasta logo

The origin of cosmic rays is unknown. A key in understanding the sources is, aside of the measurement by neutrinos, to measure the composition. A particularly interesting energy region is ~1017.5 eV where the transition from galactic to extra-galactic source may occur. With IceTop, the surface air shower detector of IceCube, we measure the particles on the surface and muons deep in the ice which allows to deduce the composition in this interesting energy region.

rasta array

With the Radio Air Shower test Array (RASTA) we want to explore the feasibility to enlarge the surface detector IceTop with radio antennas. This could allow the additional measurement of the shower development in the atmosphere and would turn IceCube into a world-wide unique observatory for cosmic rays, which could simultaneously measure many independent observables of air showers.


5. Detector development

We research on new detection methods for cosmic rays and neutrinos and participate in the following projects

The iceMole

6. Physics beyond the standard model

Our experiments are probing nature in previously unexplored regions. In particular the large IceCube detector is the largest ever built neutrino experiment and may discover new and not anticipated phenomena.

Webcam captured Christopher
                          Wiebusch in Nov 1999 @Sout Pole

Examples of analyses and searches which we perform in our group are


Our projects are supported by the

We are participating in the Helmhotz Alliance on Astroparticle physics (HAP) founded by the Helmholtz association.

We are participating in the  Doctoral Research School  Particle and Astroparticle Physics in the Light of LHC funded by the DFG

BMWI Logofp7 logoBMBF

HAP logo

DFG logo





Last change 07.3.2012