Porträt Prof. Dr. Cowan, Thomas; FWK

Prof. Dr. Thomas Cowan
Director Institute of Radiation Physics
Head High Energy Density
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2270
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3700

Supported by

World records

Radiation tolerance of timing resistive plate chambers (RPC): L. Naumann et al., Nucl. Instr. Meth. A 628 (2011) 138; ibid. A 635 (2011) S113

PDG entries


L. Naumann et al., DE 102008054676 (2011)

Division of High Energy Density

Hadrons represent a group of particles which are subject to strong interaction being one of the fundamental natural forces. Protons and neutrons are prominent hadrons constituting atomic nuclei in which most of the mass of visible matter in the universe is concentrated.

The hadron physics department is pursuing projects which aim to yield contributions to the understanding of (i) masses and interactions of selected hadrons and (ii) cosmologically and astrophysically relevant aspects of strongly interacting matter with hadronic probes. The central project Rare hadronic processes in nuclear matter traces the verification of modified hadronic properties in the environment of other strongly interacting particles. Our experimental work in the field of hadron physics concentrates on the participation in the research project HADES spectroscoping especially the vector mesons ρ and ω via their dielectron decay channel (see HADES event display for collisions of p (3.5 GeV) + Nb: front view / side view). It continues former work on hadrons with strangeness (kaons, Φ-mesons) with new goals.

The experimental work is accompanied by our theory group focussing thematically on HADES relevant physics.

The excellent time structure of the ELBE electron beam will be used for testing the response of modern timing detectors, e.g. resistive plate chambers (RPC). The installation of the corresponding test stand is connected to (i) preparatory work of the future project transmutation taking advantage of the high beam intensity at ELBE to study the transmutation of nuclear material in strong photonic fluxes and (ii) research and development for the CBM project at the future FAIR facility at GSI/Darmstadt.

Laser-matter interaction

Bachelor, master,  diploma and PhD theses


  • Analysis of HADES data, simulations with BUU-Code
  • R & D of timing resistive plate chambers (RPC) with high radiation tolerance
  • Theory:
    • ADS/CFT correspondence (from string theory to QCD)
    • Quark-Gluon-Plasma (ALICE @ LHC)
    • QCD sum rules (hadron physics in the strongly coupled QCD sector)
    • Laser-matter interaction (strong-field QED)

survey of completed theses

Meetings/conferences (co)organised by the hadron physics department

  • Nuclear physics workshop "XLVI. Arbeitstreffen Kernphysik", Feb 2015, Schleching/Bavaria
  • previous meetings


2015 / 20142013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2009 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002 / 2001 / 2000 / 1999 / 1998 / 1997



Prof. Dr. Thomas Cowan
Director Institute of Radiation Physics
Head High Energy Density
Phone: +49 351 260 - 2270
Fax: +49 351 260 - 3700