The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) works on various topics in modern astrophysics, using mainly experimental but also theoretical methods. Its name was chosen to reflect its research – the physics of space – but also because of its research methods.
Many observations have to be carried out above the dense Earth atmosphere. These are complemented by instruments on ground-based observatories whenever possible. In central workshops, in-house staff build detectors, spectrometers, cameras and telescopes, as well as complete payloads for satellites. The observations are complemented by some experiments in laboratories and theoretical work.
The direct interaction of observers and experimenters under the same roof reinforces cooperation, improves the coordination of activities and often results in the early identification of promising new research directions through the interplay of hypotheses and new observations.
last update 2012-02-20 by H. Steinle