Karlsruhe School of Elementary Particle and Astroparticle Physics: Science and Technology (KSETA)


Prof. Dr. Willem de Boer, 1948 – 2020

Prof. Dr. Willem de Boer

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you about the unexpected passing of our dear colleague and friend Prof. Dr. Willem (“Wim”) de Boer on October 13, 2020, at the age of 72.

Please read here our obituary.

KSETA Alumnus Anton Huber is candidate for State Legislature

Anton Huber

Anton Huber has been nominated as candidate for the elections of the State Legislature of Baden-Württemberg in 2021 for the electoral district Karlsruhe-East. He received his Ph.D degree in July 2020 with the dissertation "Analysis of first KATRIN data and searches for keV-scale sterile neutrinos" completed at the Institute for Experimental Particle Physics (ETP). His scientific activities, which he continues as a postdoc in the KATRIN group, have been accompanied by voluntary service as mayor of Karlsruhe district Wolfartsweier and member of Karlsruhe's city council.

Mai 22, 2019 – Daniela Mockler wins "Prize for best speaker"

Dr. Daniela Mockler

At the BPS meeting in May 2019, Dr. Daniela Mockler, who recently did her doctorate at KSETA, was awarded the "Prize for best speaker". Congratulations!

The young scientist contest has a long tradition at the annual BPS meeting. Both doctoral students and young postdocs with less than 5 years of professional experience after their PhD defense are eligible to take part in the competition. From among the applicants, the committee initially invited eight speakers to a pre-selection and chose three of them as finalists, who presented their papers at the BPS meeting on May 22. The three finalists will also have the opportunity to write an article on their topic for the B-Phy Magazine of the Belgian Physical Society.

March 2019 – Installation of the first antenna for the AugerPrime Radio Upgrade

PhD students with the first antenna for the AugerPrime radio upgrade.

Young scientists cheer after installing the first antenna for the AugerPrime radio upgrade!
Also on site: KSETA PhD student and member of the Helmholtz International Research School (HIRSAP) Felix Schlüter (second from left).

The radio upgrade, which is part of the AugerPrime upgrade, is a very important part of the future research of the Pierre Auger Observatory by adding array-based composition sensitivity for large zenith angles, for which the scintillator upgrade is not effective. Having good composition-sensitive information up to very large zenith angles is crucial for composition-improved anisotropy studies and adds to the overall aperture of the observatory.

March 2019 – KSETA PhD student reports about her work in a video

Meghana Mahaveer Patil

Meghana Mahaveer Patil is a KSETA PhD student at IBPT. Within a video about the IBPT for the Spring Meeting of the American Physical Society, she reports in a short spot (starting at 4:27) about her work in accelerator technology.

See the whole video here

September 2018 – KSETA PhD student Denise Müller receives prize for best presentation

For her presentation at the conference "11th International Workshop on Top Quark Physics 2018", Denise Müller, PhD student at the Institute of Experimental Particle Physics (ETP), was awarded the prize for the best young scientist presentation in front of 130 participants.

The 11th edition of the conference "International Workshop on Top Quark Physics" took place in Bad Neuenahr from 16 to 21 September. This annual conference brings together experts from theory and experiment who deal with the heaviest of the six quarks, the top quark. Traditionally, the Young Scientist Forum gives young scientists the opportunity to show their work in short presentations. Denise Müller reported on the measurement of the single top quark production in the t channel with data from the CMS experiment, where she does research together with other colleagues from ETP under the supervision of Dr. Thorsten Chwalek.

While top quarks are generated in pairs with top antiquarks in strong interaction, the generation of single top quarks takes place in weak interaction, the secrets of which have not yet been revealed in detail. In Denise Müller's analysis it was possible to measure the relationship between the production probabilities of individual top quarks and individual top antiquarks with unprecedented precision and thus to make statements about the inner structure of the proton.

The KIT is involved in the CMS experiment with a ninety-member working group headed by Prof. Thomas Müller. In 2012, the long-sought Higgs particle was also discovered there.

July 2018 – Master students from India visited KSETA

From left to right: Jainam Khara, Arpita Seksaria, Aswathi Balagopal, Mridula Prathapan, Chirag Gupta, Arpan Ghosal, Jochen Gemmler, Thomas Huber, Sourav Pusti, Prof. Ulrich Nierste, Gaurav Mukherjee, Andreas Hahmann (KHYS)

Between May and July 2018 five  Master students from IIT Bombay in Mumbai and another Master student from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute Of Technology in Surat visited KSETA with a KHYS Internship Grant.

Their local hosts were the KSETA Doctoral Fellows Jochen Gemmler, Thomas Huber, Aswathi Balagopal, Mridula Prathapan and Alaa Kuotb Awad.

The interns participated in projects related to the current and future experiments Belle in Tsukuba (Japan), milliQan at CERN in Geneva (Switzerland), and IceCube Gen2 and IceTop at the South Pole, as well as the development of CMOS sensor technology.

October 2017 – Support of the Helmholtz International Research School on Astroparticle Physics and Enabling Technologies

Investigation of cosmic rays

The Helmholtz Association supports three international research schools, among them the International Research School on Astroparticle Physics and Enabling Technologies, applied by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) together with Universidad Nacional de San Martín (UNSAM), Buenos Aires. The spokespersons of the Research School, that is expected to start on April 1, 2018, are Dr. Ralph Engel from the German side and Dr. Alberto Etchegoyen from the Argentinian side.

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Julius Wess Award 2016

Prof. Robert Klanner

Prof. Robert Klanner, University of Hamburg and DESY, was chosen to receive the Julius Wess Award 2016.

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October 24, 2016 – PhD Award for KSETA Alumnus Wolfgang Hollik

Wolfgang Gregor Hollik has won the PhD Award 2016 of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (Helmholtz-Doktorandenpreis) in the research area "Matter"
Wolfgang Hollik

Each year nationwide only six PhD graduates receive a Helmholtz-Doktorandenpreis, one in each research area. The Helmholtz-Doktorandenpreis in the research area "Matter" went to KSETA twice in a row, after Benjamin Schmidt winning the 2015 Award.
Wolfgang Hollik had completed his PhD at the Institute for Theoretical Particle Physics in the group of Prof. Ulrich Nierste and is now a postdoc at the Helmholtz Centre DESY in Hamburg.
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July 9, 2016 – Posterprize for KSETA PhD Students

Florian Heizmann and Hendrik Seitz-Moskaliuk at the presentation of the award
Florian Heizmann and Hendrik Seitz Moskaliuk, both PhD students at KSETA and members of the Helmholtz-University Young Investigator Group of Dr. Kathrin Valerius, got in London at the NEUTRINO 2016 conference a prize for their collaborative poster. From a total of over 400 entries only six posters were awarded.

The awards were presented by Dr. Leonie Mück, senior editor at Nature. They consist of a cash prize and an annual subscription of Nature.





January 27, 2016 – Doktorandenpreis for Benjamin Schmidt

Benjamin Schmidt (picture: KIT)

Five PhD students were granted the Doktorandenpreis of the Helmholtz Association for their outstanding scientific achievement, including Benjamin Schmidt, former PhD student at KSETA - congratulations!

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March 5, 2015 - New representatives at the head of KSETA

The KSETA Board of Researchers elected new representatives at its meeting on March 5.

Prof. Ulrich Nierste is the new spokesperson of KSETA. His two deputy spokespersons are Prof. Achim Streit and Prof. Günter Quast.

The Board of Researchers thanks Prof. Johannes Blümer for his constant and dedicated commitment as spokesperson of KSETA.

New Regulations for Doctoral Fellows since January 1, 2015

Due to new legal regulations since January 1, 2015 a PhD agreement has to be signed acc. to §38, paragraph 5 Landeshochschulgesetz (LHG) immediately after receiving the confirmation of supervision.

In addition, the online registration of all doctoral researchers at KHYS is mandatory: http://www.khys.kit.edu/handbuch.php.

"We have tested the model we're using to describe the world with uncanny precision."

Prof. Margarete Mühlleitner vom Institut für Theoretische Physik (ITP)

What holds the world together at its core

On November 13, 2014 KSETA-PI Prof. Margarete Mühlleitner from the Institute of Theoretical Physics (ITP) was a guest of ZDF Morgenmagazin. On the occasion of CERN's 25th birthday, she explained aspects of particle research to the general public in a short contribution.

New findings on cosmic radiation

Der Detektor AMS (Alpha-Magnet-Spektrometer) auf der Internationalen Raumstation ISS. Mit diesem Teilchendetektor erforschen Wissenschaftler Ursprung und Natur der kosmischen Strahlung. (Foto: NASA)

KIT Young Investigator Group Contributes Significantly to the AMS Experiment on the International Space Station ISS


The latest results of the measurement of high-energy particles with the detector AMS on the International Space Station ISS deepen our understanding of the origin and nature of cosmic radiation.

A junior research group of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) under the leadership of Dr. Iris Gebauer is significantly involved in the experiment: It played a leading role in measuring the total flow of electrons and positrons.

The spokesperson of the AMS project, Professor Samuel C. C. Ting, presented the results at the CERN Research Centre.

Researchers from the Institute of Experimental Particle Physics (ETP) at KIT, led by Professor Wim de Boer, were involved in the development and construction of several components of the AMS detector. In 2011, the KIT set up the Young Investigator Group (YIG) "Cosmic Ray Transport Models for Dark Matter Searches with AMS-02" under the direction of Dr. Iris Gebauer to analyze the data. The YIG has taken the lead in measuring the total flow of electrons - negatively charged elementary particles - and positrons - antiparticles of electrons with opposite charges.

Press Release of KIT

July 2014: CMS closes major chapter of Higgs measurements

The data reveal that the particle discovered at CERN continues to behave just like the Standard Model predicts
Compatibility of Higgs boson couplings to vector bosons (V) and fermions (f) with the standard model expectation (diamond).

Since the discovery of a Higgs boson by the CMS and ATLAS Collaborations in 2012, physicists at the LHC have been making intense efforts to measure this new particle’s properties. The Standard Model Higgs boson is the particle associated with an all-pervading field that is believed to impart mass to fundamental particles via the Brout-Englert-Higgs mechanism. Awaited for decades, the 2012 observation was a historical milestone for the LHC and led to the award of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics to Peter Higgs and François Englert. An open question arising from the discovery is whether the new particle is the one of the Standard Model -- or a different one, perhaps just one of many types of Higgs bosons waiting to be found. Since the particle’s discovery, physicists at the LHC have been making intense efforts to answer this question.

This week, at the 37th International Conference on High Energy Physics , a bi-annual major stage for particle physics, which in 2014 is held in Valencia, Spain, the CMS Collaboration is presenting a broad set of results from new studies of the Higgs boson. The new results are based on the full Run 1 data from pp collisions at centre-of-mass energies of 7 and 8 TeV. The analysis includes the final calibration and alignment constants and contains about 25 fb-1 of data. 

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New Internet Platform "Kascade" – Cosmic Ray Data Centre (KCDC)

KASCADE-Grande Experiment at KIT

What are air showers and what do they tell us about our cosmos? Answers for students and teachers as well as for scientists are provided by the new internet platform KASCADE Cosmic Ray Data Centre (KCDC). In the research project KASCADE, KIT scientists have been collecting data from space for 20 years, which now are freely available for the public.

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