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Theoretical models suggest that a large part of our universe is made up of dark matter - this has not yet been directly observed but the existence of dark matter is inferred from its gravitational effects such as the rotation of galaxies. Currently researchers work on directly detecting these particles instead of just predicting them theoretically. In this video MANFRED LINDNER describes the detector used by the team of the XENON Dark Matter Project: Essentially, it is a vessel filled with liquefied xenon and equipped with highly sensitive light sensors. When a particle enters the detector, it will generate light pulses which enable the researchers to pinpoint the exact location of the interaction as well as the type of particle. The high sensitivity of the instrument requires that extreme care is taken to eliminate any background signals.


Manfred Lindner is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, as well as a Professor for physics and astronomy at the University of Heidelberg. Before joining the Max Planck Society, he spent 13 years teaching and conducting research as a Professor of theoretical physics at the Technical University Munich. Lindner’s research interest lies in the field of particle and astro-particle physics where he addresses formal theoretical questions but also engages in experimental projects. He has been contributing significantly to internationally leading projects on direct Dark Matter search, neutrino oscillations and lepton number violation.
In 2016, Lindner was awarded an honorary doctorate of the Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högsksolan, KTH) in Stockholm for important contributions to neutrino physics.


Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (MPIK) is one out of 86 institutes and research establishments of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften (MPG) (Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science). The MPG was founded in 1948 as successor to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (established in 1911) and is committed to basic research. The MPIK was founded in 1958 under the leadership of Wolfgang Gentner. Its precursor was the Institute for Physics at the MPI for Medical Research led by Walther Bothe from 1934 to 1957. Since 1966 the MPIK is led by a board of directors. The initial scientific goals were basic research in nuclear physics and the application of nuclear-physics methods to questions concerning in the physics and chemistry of the cosmos. Today, the activities concentrate on the two interdisciplinary research fields: Astroparticle Physics and Quantum Dynamics.

Presently, the institute consists of five divisions and additionally several independent research groups mostly led by young physicists. Every day, about 400 persons are working at the Institute, including around 130 scientists and 110 PhD students. Scientists at the MPIK collaborate with other research groups from all over the world. They are involved in a large number of international collaborations, partly in a leading role. Particularly close connections exist to some large-scale facilities like  GSI (Darmstadt), DESY (Hamburg), CERN (Genf), INFN-LNGS (Assergi L‘Aquila), LCLS (Stanford). In the local region, the Institute cooperates closely with Heidelberg University, where the directors and further members of the Institute are teaching. Three International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) and a graduate school serve to foster young scientists.

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Original publication

XENON100 Dark Matter Results from a Combination of 477 Live Days

others, Agostini Federica, Aprile Elena, Alfonsi Matteo, Arneodo Francesco, Baudis Laura, Anthony Matthew, Lindner Manfred, Amaro Francesco, Balan Catalin and Bauermeister Boris
Physical Review D
Published in 2016