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Supernovae, stellar explosions of gigantic proportions, are powered by the lightest elementary particles of all: neutrinos. These come in three different varieties, which are called flavors. Until now, it was assumed that the neutrinos in a supernova retain their current flavor. Recent findings show…

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The MADMAX project initiated by the Max Planck Institute is the focus of a newly established research collaboration: the French research organization CNRS and three German Helmholtz centers have joined forces to form the Dark Matter Lab (DMLab). The goal of the international research laboratory is…

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Café and Kosmos on June 19, 2023

The matter-antimatter trap

When matter meets antimatter, they annihilate each other within fractions of a second. In the process, the entire mass is converted into energy. However, this annihilation process can be delayed if the particle density is extremely low and the temperature is very high. Such hot and thin…

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On the occasion of the farewell of its long-time director Prof. Dr. Siegfried ("Siggi") Bethke, the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) cordially invites to an honorary colloquium on May 16, 2023, 3:00 pm.

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The proton is one of three building blocks of the atom. Thus protons, together with neutrons and electrons, form the matter we know. Since the 1960s, we have known that a proton consists of three quarks. However, researchers now have a much more differentiated picture of the familiar particle. And…

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Black holes as quantum computers? Sounds like science fiction, but it is a realistic scenario. No other system stores quantum information as efficiently as black holes. It is therefore conceivable that intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations could use them for their information processing. These…

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Café and Kosmos on May 9, 2023

String theory – the key to the universe

String theory is a theory to unify two otherwise incompatible concepts: It creates a mathematical substructure to accommodate both quantum physics and gravity. With string theory our reality would not be composed of particles, but of tiny, vibrating things. We would live with many more dimensions,…

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Since March 2019, the Belle II detector has been measuring decays of B mesons, a particular type of quark pair. Previous experiments had shown that B and anti-B mesons decay at different rates, i.e., exhibit CP violation. Belle II is intended to extend these measurements and make them more precise.…

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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) has a new Head of Administration: Sabine Krabichler succeeds Andreas Hartmann.

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Café & Kosmos on April 11, 2023

Particle accelerator sheds light on dark matter

Dark matter is essential for understanding the rotation speed of stars in galaxies and the motion of galaxies in clusters. But what exactly is dark matter? This question has occupied researchers for decades. But it is not only observations of galaxies that play a role in answering it. Physicists are…

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