Prof. Dr. Allen Caldwell


Prof. Dr. Allen Caldwell

+49 89 32354-529

Research focus

Allen Caldwell's research focuses on the investigation of the fundamental building blocks of matter, their properties and their interactions.

He is involved in several research projects:


The scientific work carried out by Prof. Allen Caldwell currently includes the development of novel particle accelerator technology based on plasma wakefields, the study of the quarks and gluons and their interactions, the fundamental properties of neutrinos and, more recently, the search for a new candidate for Dark Matter - axions.  In addition, he has a great interest in probability and statistics, and lectures on data analysis techniques and Monte Carlo methods at the Technical University of Munich.  

The plasma based accelerator experiment is explained in the video How can plasma and proton beams be used in building next generation particle accelerators?

Prof. Caldwell was born in Verdun/France in 1959 and has the double citizenship of the USA and France. He studied physics at Rice University in Texas, then moved to the University of Wisconsin where he earned his doctorate. He then spent 15 years at Columbia University, where he eventually became professor. In 1997, he became head of the ZEUS experiment at the HERA accelerator at DESY in Hamburg. In 1999, he was made director of the Nevis Laboratory at Columbia University in New York; since 2002 he has been a Member of the Board of Directors of the Max Planck Institute for Physics. He currently heads the AWAKE experiment at CERN .

Charges (selected)

    • Max Planck Society representative in the German Committee for Particle Physics (KET; since 2018)
    • International Review Committee, Canadian Institute of Particle Physics (2016)
    • Advisory member, DIS and Related Topics (since 2007)
    • Advisory board, Annalen der Physik
    • Perspectives Committee of the CPT section of the Max Planck Society (since 2012)

    Scientific awards & memberships

    • Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Wisconsin (2012)
    • Honorary Professor at the Technical University of Munich (2006)
    • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2000)
    • Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1995-1997)

    Publications (selection)

    Acceleration of electrons in the plasma wakefield of a proton bunch; AWAKE Collaboration (E. Adli (Oslo U.) et al.). Aug 29, 2018. 5 pp. Published in Nature 561 (2018) no.7723, 363-367

    Is the bump significant? An axion-search example; Frederik Beaujean (Munich, Tech. U., Universe), Allen Caldwell, Olaf Reimann (Munich, Max Planck Inst.). Oct 18, 2017. 18 pp. Published in Eur.Phys.J. C78 (2018) no.9, 793

    Global Bayesian analysis of neutrino mass data; Allen Caldwell, Alexander Merle, Oliver Schulz, Maximilian Totzauer (Munich, Max Planck Inst.). May 4, 2017. 15 pp.; Published in Phys.Rev. D96 (2017) no.7, 073001

    Dielectric Haloscopes: A New Way to Detect Axion Dark Matter; MADMAX Working Group (Allen Caldwell (Munich, Max Planck Inst.) et al.). Nov 17, 2016. 6 pp.; Published in Phys.Rev.Lett. 118 (2017) no.9, 091801