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Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bethke


Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bethke
+49 89 32354-381

Research focus

Sigge 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.


  • Member of the Experts' Committee "High Energy Physics" of the Fed. Min. of Education and Research (1995-2002)
  • Member of the Selection Committee of the Feodor Lynen Research Fellowships' Program of the AvH (1996-2002)
  • Chairperson of the DESY Scientific Council (2002-2005)
  • Chairperson of the ATLAS Collaboration Board (2004-2005)
  • Deputy Chair of the ATLAS Collaboration Board (2003 and 2006)
  • Co-Editor of the European Physical Journal C (since 1994)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Physics G - Nuclear and Particle Physics (1997-2002)

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)


A study of event shapes and determinations of alpha-s data of e+e- annihilations at S**(1/2) = 22-GEV to 44-GEV.
Eur. Phys. J. C1, 461-478 (1998).
Movilla Fernandez, P. A., O. Biebel, S. Bethke, S. Kluth, P. Pfeifenschneider

Determination of the QCD coupling alpha(s).
J Phys. G26, R27 (2000).
Bethke, S.

QCD studies at LEP.
Phys. Rept. 403-404, 203-220 (2004).
Bethke, S.

Schwache starke Wechselwirkung: Die asymptotische Freitheit der Quarks.
Phys. J. 3N12, 31-35 (2004).
Bethke, S., P. Zerwas

Alpha(s) at Zinnowitz 2004.
Nucl. Phys. Proc. Suppl. 135, 345-352 (2004).
Bethke, S.