The research program of the new group fits perfectly into existing collaborations in the field of astroparticle physics. The MPP and the TU Munich are both represented in Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1258 “Neutrinos and dark matter in astrophysics and particle physics (NDM)”, and Resconi is its spokesperson.
In addition, the MPP and the TUM are collaborating on further projects: on the CRESST experiment, for example, which is currently searching for very light particles of dark matter; and also on the GERDA project, which could reveal whether the neutrino is its own antiparticle. “Setting up a joint Fellow group provides us with the opportunity to expand our successful collaboration with additional topics in neutrino physics,” explains Elisa Resconi.
Neutrinos pose many questions: we still do not know their mass; in addition, it is not clear whether they possess the Majorana characteristics, i. e. they are their own antiparticle. Moreover, there could be – at least in theoretical models – a further species of neutrino. This “sterile neutrino” would also be a candidate for a dark matter particle.
“We are delighted to cooperate even more closely with the renowned neutrino researcher Elisa Resconi,” says Allen Caldwell, Managing Director at the MPP. “We hope this will bring us a couple of steps closer to solving the neutrino mystery.”
The Max Planck Fellow program
The funding program is intended mainly for setting up and managing a scientific working group. The funding period for this highly endowed support program is five years for active university professors, three years for retired professors. The selection process is carried out by a review panel according to strict criteria. The Fellow proposals are evaluated with respect to their scientific quality, their relevance in light of science policy, and financial feasibility.