The torus is an auxiliary geometric object for calculating the interaction of gravitons. If the torus is cut into two halves, two cylinders are created that represent the respective interactions of two gauge theories (Graphics: S. Stieberger/MPP)

String theory: gravity and the standard model move closer together

The topic is considered THE classic dilemma in physics: the incompatibility of the quantum world - the description of the smallest building blocks of matter - with space-time in the universe, which is in the regime of gravity. With string theory,…

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MADMAX tests at CERN. The picture shows the experiment before dismantling. The nitrogen-filled balloon has an important task: it helps to bring the experiment, which has been cooled down to almost -270 degrees, back to room temperature (Photo: CERN)

Search for axions: Important milestones and first physics results

Dark matter could answer many open questions about the nature and rules of the universe with a single discovery. Various experiments around the world are hunting for dark matter, for example the CRESST and COSINUS experiments, the latter of which has…

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The AWAKE experiment at CERN (Photo: CERN/IST)

Plasma instability provides model for magnetism in space

What does the future of acceleration physics look like? Researchers in the AWAKE project have been working on a new approach for years. A proton beam generates a plasma wave on which particles can be accelerated. A recently published study takes a…

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Photomultipliers are installed in the COSINUS experiment to filter out unwanted background noise caused by cosmic rays (Photo: Astrid Eckert/MPP)

Dark matter: testing a controversial signal

Café & Kosmos on June 18, 2024

There are around 20 experiments worldwide searching for the mysterious dark matter. So far, none has been able to detect the substance - with one exception: the DAMA/LIBRA experiment has been claiming to measure a signal since 1998. However, no other…

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View of the Perseus cluster of galaxies (Image: ESA/Euclid/Euclid Consortium/NASA, image processing by J.-C. Cuillandre (CEA Paris-Saclay), G. Anselmi)

Structure on large scales and the history of the universe

Café & Kosmos on 14 May, 2024

The large-scale distribution of galaxies contains important information about the initial conditions in the early universe and how the cosmos has evolved since then. In particular, they help to unravel the nature of the dark energy that is…

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In the clean room: Karoline Schäffner and her team complete their work on the cryostat (Photo: COSINUS Collaboration)

New experiment tests controversial dark matter signals

Today, on April 18, 2024, a large-scale experiment to detect dark matter will be inaugurated in Italy. COSINUS is an international research project in which a team from the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is also involved. The nature of dark…

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The Bullet Cluster (Image: ESA)

Galaxy clusters - giants of the universe

Café & Kosmos on 23 April, 2024

The Bullet Cluster, one of the most interesting galaxy clusters we know, weighs several hundred thousand billion solar masses. This object alone gives us deep insights into the components of our universe: galaxies, hot gas and dark matter. We use…

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Image: K. Holzapfel, S. Loipolder/TUM

Light in the darkness of the deep sea

Café und Kosmos on 5 March, 2024

Physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are currently developing the new neutrino telescope P-ONE to explore the universe from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in the future. At a depth of 2,500 meters, there are also living creatures…

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The LST-1 on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain (Image: CTAO gGmbH)

LST-1 observes radio quasar OP 313 with highest gamma radiation ever measured

The new Cherenkov telescope LST-1 on La Palma announces its first scientific discovery: while observing the radio quasar OP 313, the telescope registered radiation of over 100 gigaelectronvolts - the highest-energy gamma radiation ever measured from…

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Artistic representation of magnetic monopoles (Image: M. Bachmaier/

The early universe: What role do magnetic monopoles play?

Café & Kosmos on 29 February, 2024

The standard model of particle physics consists of particles of matter interacting via three fundamental forces: the strong force that holds atomic nuclei together, the weak force that describes (radioactive) beta decay, and the electromagnetic force…

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