• 11/23/2016

“Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astrophysics and Particle Physics”

New Collaborative Research Center at the TUM

A new Collaborative Research Center (Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) focuses on neutrinos and dark matter. The CRC's spokesperson is Elisa Resconi, Professor of Experimental Physics with Cosmic Particles at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). In addition, the Technical University of Munich is involved in a new transregional SFB investigating bacterial cells. Another SFB with TUM participation, focused on the immune system, has received extension.

Neutrino-Event measured at the neutrino-observatory IceCube - Image: IceCube Consortium
Neutrino-Event measured at the neutrino-observatory IceCube - Image: IceCube Consortium

The new Collaborative Research Center 1258 “Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astrophysics and Particle Physics” (NDM) investigates neutrinos and dark matter. Neutrinos are the most frequently occurring material particles in the universe. But how do these neutral particles impact cosmic dynamics on galactic and even larger scales?

Another open question is whether neutrinos are their own antiparticles and whether or not they have sterile partners. The answers to these questions could explain why our world was created with more matter than antimatter.

The new Collaborative Research Center will be closely networked with research by the Cluster of Excellence “Origin and Structure of the Universe”, in which the TU Munich is also the coordinating university. Elisa Resconi is also a central figure in the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, which investigates cosmic neutrinos in the ice of the Antarctic.

With the TUM as coordinating university, other participants in the project include the Max Planck Institutes for Physics, for Astrophysics and for Extraterrestrial Physics, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and The Institute for High Energy Physics of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (HEPHY).

Spatio-temporal dynamics of bacterial cells

Research in the transregional Collaborative Research Center (Transregio) 174 “Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Bacterial Cells” is centered mainly on the internal organization and dynamics of bacteria. In addition to the coordinating University of Marburg, working groups from Giessen University, Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Technical University of Munich as well as the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried near Munich are all involved in this Transregio.

Control and plasticity in the immune system

The objective of the extended SFB 1054 “Control and Plasticity of Cell-Fate Decisions in the Immune System” is the identification of signals which determine the stability and flexibility of cell-fate decisions. This is intended in the long-term to create possibilities for therapeutic use of the manipulation of immune cell differentiation.

The coordinating university of SFB 1054 is Munich's Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. Seven working groups from the Technical University of Munich are involved, and the collaborating partners include the Helmholtz Zentrum München.

Long-term support for challenging research

In the years to come, SFBs 1258 and 1054 will receive approximately eleven millions Euros in funding each, while the new Transregio 174 will receive about 6.5 million Euros. In addition each SFB also receives a 22 percent flat-rate program allowance to cover indirect research project costs.

The German Research Foundation's Collaborative Research Centers are among Germany's most important research support programs. They make challenging interdisciplinary and long-term research projects possible. The German Research Foundation issues its grants for an initial period of four years, with a potential total duration of twelve years.

Research Training Group “Advanced Optimization in a Networked Economy”

The TUM was also successful in yet another DFG funding line: 3.2 million Euros in funding was approved for the establishment of a research training group in partnership with Yale University, New Haven, USA.

This research training group will concentrate on investigating the efficient use of resources. In an increasingly networked world, control of resources often involves multiple decision makers and continuously growing volumes of available data. The research training group “Advanced Optimization in a Networked Economy” (AdONE) works in the areas of Operations Research and Management Science to develop models and methods aimed at the efficient use of resources through intelligent planning and control, which are then transformed into software solutions.

Technical University of Munich

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