Scientific Work at the Institute

For their astrophysical research, the MPE scientists measure the radiation of far away objects in different wavelengths areas: from millimetere/sub-millimetre and infrared all the way to X-ray and gamma-ray wavelengths. These methods span more than twelve decades of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The research topics pursued at MPE range from the physics of cosmic plasmas and of stars to the physics and chemistry of interstellar matter, from star formation and nucleosynthesis to extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. The interaction with observers and experimentalists in the institute not only leads to better consolidated efforts but also helps to identify new, promising research areas early on.

The structural development of the institute mainly has been directed by the desire to work on cutting-edge experimental, astrophysical topics using instruments developed in-house. This includes individual detectors, spectrometers and cameras but also telescopes and integrated, complete payloads. Therefore the engineering and workshop areas are especially important for the close interlink between scientific and technical aspects.

The scientific work is done in four major research areas that are supervised by one of the directors:

  1. Center for Astrochemical Studies (CAS)
    Director: P. Caselli
  2. High-Energy Astrophysics
    Director: P. Nandra

  3. Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy
    Director: R. Genzel, F. Eisenhauer

  4. Optical & Interpretative Astronomy
    Director: R. Bender

Within these areas scientists lead individual experiments and research projects organised in about 25 project teams.



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