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Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bethke


Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bethke

+49 89 32354-381

Research focus

Siggi Bethke's research focuses on the investigation of the fundamental building blocks of matter, their properties and their interactions by means of experiments on high-energy particle accelerators.

He is involved in the ATLAS experiment at CERN.


The experimental physicist Prof. Siegfried Bethke focuses primarily on the investigation of high-energy particle collisions and the development of particle detectors to detect the phenomena that take place during these collisions. At the Max Planck Institute for Physics, he heads the research activities for the ATLAS detector at the LHC accelerator at CERN in Geneva, one of the largest projects in which the Institute is involved. Prof. Bethke and his Research Groups have made crucial contributions to the discovery of the Higgs particle.

Prof. Bethke was born in 1954 in Ludwigshafen, Germany, earned his doctorate at the University of Heidelberg and also obtained the German postdoctoral lecturing qualification there in 1987. He then moved to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA on a Feodor Lynen fellowship, remaining there until 1988; he began his research work at CERN in 1989. In 1993 he was appointed professor for experimental physics at the RWTH Aachen. In 1995, he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation, one of the most highly endowed German research prizes, for his work. In 1999, he became Director at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, which he headed as Managing Director from 2000 until 2006. Moreover, he has been Managing Director of the MPG Semiconductor Laboratory (HLL) in Munich-Neuperlach since January 2013.


  • Co-organizer of annual “School for High Energy Physics” at Maria Laach (since 1999)
  • Chair of the Scientific Council of DESY (2002-2004)
  • Chair of the ATLAS Collaboration Board (2004-2005)
  • Editor-in-Chief of European Physical Journal C (2007-2012)
  • Chair of the scientific advisory board of the Institute of High Energy Physics (HEPHY), Vienna (2008-2014)
  • German scientific delegate to CERN Council (since 2009)
  • German delegate to the European Strategy Group of CERN Council (2012-2020)
  • Member of the Executive Board of the German Physical Society (DPG) (2013-2017)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the European Physical Society (EPS) (2016-2017)
  • Member of the PRISMA Forum (strategic advisory committee) of the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (since 2018)

Scientific awards & memberships

  • Feodor Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1987-1998)
  • Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Foundation (1989-1993)
  • Leibniz Award of the DFG (1995)


Determination of the strong coupling constant αs(mz) from measurements of the total cross section for top-antitop quark production, T .Klijnsma, S. Bethke, G. Dissertori, G. P. Salam; Eur.Phys.J. C77 (2017)

Quantum Chromodynamics, S. Bethke, G. Dissertori and G.P. Salam, in: Review of Particle Properties, M. Tanabashi et al., Phys.Rev. D98 (2018) no.3, 030001

Data Preservation in High Energy Physics – why, how and when? S. Bethke, arXiv:1009:3763; Nucl.Phys.Proc.Suppl. 207-208 (2010) 156

Experimental tests of asymptotic freedom, Siegfried Bethke; Prog.Part.Nucl.Phys.58:351-386,2007;
e-Print: hep-ex/0606035

Eleven years of QCD at LEP, Siegfried Bethke, Presented at LEP Fest 2000, Geneva,Switzerland, 10-11 Oct 2000; C4:1,2002. e-Print: hep-ex/0112032

New jet cluster algorithms: next-to-leading-order QCD and hadronization corrections, S. Bethke, Z. Kunszt, D. Soper and W.J. Stirling; Nucl.Phys. B370 (1992) 310.