Welcome to the Institute for Nuclear Physics

The Mainzer Microtron MAMI, an electron accelerator for energies of up to 1,6 GeV, is the core of experimental investigations. Additionally, scientists at the Institute of Nuclear Physics are working on the theoretical description and interpretation of the experimental results and of external experiments in, for example, Beijing (IHEP), Darmstadt (GSI) and Geneva (CERN).

Current news – FB 08 – Kernphysik (eng)


The "25th European Conference on Few-Body Problems in Physics" took place this year on the campus of JGU Mainz. In 13 sessions over 5 days more than 150 scientists from all over the world discussed current issues in the fields of hadrons, (hyper-)nuclear physics, cold atoms and molecular physics. Ukrainian researchers were connected online, as they were unable to attend on site due to the war in Ukraine.

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After years of development work, the new Pixel Vertex Detector (PXD2) was successfully installed in the international Belle-II experiment at the SuperKEKB electron-positron accelerator in Japan. Concettina Sfienti's group at the Institute of Nuclear Physics was also involved in the design and construction. Under Mainz leadership, real-time monitoring of data quality was implemented and key sections of the software controlling the PXD2 were programmed. In addition, sensor modules were tested at MAMI for their radiation hardness.

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From 26.06.23 to 30.06.23, this year's workshop of the "Proton Radius European Network" (PREN 2023) and the "Muonic Atom Spectroscopy Theory Initiative" (µASTI) took place in the premises of HIM at JGU Mainz. Over the five days, more than 50 scientists from more than a dozen countries discussed their research on the structure of nucleons and nuclei, as well as the search for New Physics, by confronting precise theory predictions with electron scattering experiments and spectroscopy of in part exotic atoms and molecules. "Overall, we had a very diverse program with many exciting discussions that motivate and inspire us to work even more closely on common issues in the future. We are already looking forward to the next event," summed up local organizers Franziska Hagelstein (Institute of Nuclear Physics) and Randolf Pohl (Institute of Physics).

We congratulate Dr. Micro Christmann on the completed dissertation entitled

"Design Studies for the Beam Dump Experiment DarkMESA"

In his PhD thesis Mirco Christmann from the group of Prof. Achim Denig has performed a full scale design study for one of the three experiments under construction for MESA - the DarkMESA experiment. This uses the P2 beam trap as a target for the possible production of light dark matter particles. In the DarkMESA detector, which is well shielded more than 20 meters behind the beam catcher, there is the possibility to detect the dark matter particles by interaction with the electrons in the detector material.

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We congratulate Dr. Robert Heine, who successfully completed his habilitation with his inaugural lecture on the topic

The Milliamp Booster MAMBO or "How to build an injector linac for MESA ?"

More about the new electron accelerator MESA and the planned experiments can be found here.

The Gutenberg Academy of the Johannes Gutenberg University regularly supports up to 25 outstanding doctoral students and artists. In addition to interdisciplinary exchange and financial support for conference participation, for example, the junior members can benefit above all from the exchange with established scientists, as well as other renowned people from politics, business and society.

In order to be accepted as a junior member of the Gutenberg Academy, a two-stage selection process must be completed. We are happy to announce that this year Saskia Plura, PhD student in the group of Prof. Achim Denig, was successful in this process!

Saskia Plura's PhD research focuses on searches for light dark matter particles in existing data from the BESIII experiment and also prepares future searches for such particles at the DarkMESA experiment using detailed simulation studies.

April 18, 2023

We congratulate Dr. Oleksandra Deineka on completing her PhD dissertation titled

Coupled-channel dynamics in hadronic systems

This thesis is dedicated to the dispersion relation approach, which is built upon the  unitarity and analyticity properties of the scattering matrix.  We apply it to study the pion-pion and pion-kaon scattering, in which the lightest scalar resonances show up. The knowledge of the pion-pion amplitude allows us to perform an analysis of the double-virtual photon-photon scattering to two pions, which contributes to the hadronic light-by-light scattering part of the anomalous magnetic moment of the muon. We also consider the two photon fusion reaction with D-meson pair in the final state, which is expected to contain two charmonium resonances.

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Two master's theses appeared in the 2022 announcement of Springer Spektrum's "BestMasters"-Program
Both theses in the Master's of Education Program in Physics were completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefan Scherer. Lukas Scharfe's thesis was supervised in cooperation with Dr. Moritz Rahn at the Institute of Mathematics at JGU and was simultaneously accepted as a thesis for a B.Sc. in Mathematics.

February 11 is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science: A good occasion to introduce our new junior research group leader Dr. Franziska Hagelstein and her research. Franziska Hagelstein studied physics at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and received her PhD in theoretical nuclear physics there in 2017 under the supervision of Prof. Marc Vanderhaeghen and Dr. Vladimir Pascalutsa. After several years of research at the University of Bern and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland, she returned to JGU in 2022 and has since been leading the Emmy Noether Young Investigator Group "Hadronic Contributions to Precision Observables and the Search for New Physics" at the Institute of Nuclear Physics. She currently supervises two PhD students and is supported in her research by a postdoc - Dr. Vadim Lensky.

According to her own statement, JGU is an almost optimal place for her research, because on the one hand she finds here an inspiring exchange with the colleagues in the large theory group and at the same time has the proximity to collaborations from experimental nuclear and atomic physics, such as in the experiments for proton form factor (A1 collaboration , JGU) and proton polarizability measurements (A2 collaboration , JGU) at the electron accelerator MAMI, or the spectroscopy experiments on normal and muonic atoms (group around Prof. Randolf Pohl , JGU). Particularly exciting is that these experiments play a central role in the so-called "proton radius puzzle".


27 September 2022

We congratulate Ms. Bianca Savino on completing her dissertation titled

"Development of Λ baryons reconstruction and its application to the search for a stable hexaquark at Belle II"

This thesis focuses on the search for a hypothetical particle composed of six quarks in the context of the particle physics experiment Belle II in Japan. The possible existence of such a state would help us to better understand the behaviour of matter under extreme circumstances.
The work can be divided into two main parts: the optimization of the Belle II software deployed in the reconstruction of tracks originating far from the main interaction point; and the subsequent sensitivity study for the search for the six-quark state, heavily relying on such tracks.

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