Prof. Dr. Thomas Cowan

Director Institute of Radiation Physics
Phone: +49 351 260 2270

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schramm

Director Institute for Radiation Physics and Head Laser Particle Acceleration Division
Phone: +49 351 260 2471

Anne Varga

Secretary Institute of Radiation Physics
Phone: +49 351 260 3293

Institute of Radiation Physics

Scientific profile and research program

The Institute of Radiation Physics conducts research for states of matter under extreme conditions and in very small dimensions. In order to investigate fundamental physical phenomena, state-of-the-art radiation sources are used. Therefore, the establishment of novel accelerators and the further development and improvement of existing machines is an essential goal of the institute. High-power lasers allow the investigation of the interactions of light and matter. For the detection of the effects on the smallest scales, high-precision and very fast detectors are developed and applied. The use of the latest high-performance GPU computing technology assures real-time handling of big data and sets world-wide standards for open-source simulation tools for complex systems.

In addition to basic research, the application of technologies is a key issue. In modern radiation therapy, developments from our institute are used. The research is embedded in the research topics "Matter" and "Health" of the Helmholtz Association.

Facilities and cooperations

The Institute for Radiation Physics operates the ELBE Center for High-Power Radiation Sources and successfully combines research with user operations. ELBE consists of a superconducting electron accelerator and two high-power laser systems, the ultra-short pulse laser "Draco" and a fully diode-pumped energy-efficient Petawattsystem "Penelope" under development.

The broad range of ELBE secondary radiation sources in user operation includes IR-FEL radiation (FEL), MeV-Bremsstrahlung, positrons, neutrons, and two superradiant coherent THz sources.

In addition, the Radiation Physics institute coordinates the operation of the Helmholtz International Beamline for Extreme Fields (HIBEF) at the European XFEL at DESY in Hamburg as part of an international user consortium.

The Institute of Radiation Physics cooperates with the Institute of Radiooncology - OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology. The goal is the development of future concepts for radiation therapy.

Feasibility studies for an accelerator and laser-driven long-wave radiation source and a high-intensity positron source are performed in the future project Dresden Advanced Light Infrastructure (DALI). DALI SMWK Special Financing

Young Researchers

The institute is also engaged in the education and training of the next generation of scientists and technicians. Beside its work in applied basic research the staff of the institute implements its comprehensive expert knowledge and its wealth of experience into the education at the Dresden University of Technology. Students can attend lectures at Technical University Dresden. Trainees, graduants and Ph.D. students from Germany and foreign universities have the possibility to work at multidisciplinary subjects in modern and well equipped laboratories.

Five young investigator groups are working at the Institute. Since 2015 Dr. Karl Zeil and Dr. Arie Irman head the junior research groups “Laser ion acceleration” and “Laser electron acceleration”. In 2016 the Helmholtz junior research group of Dr. Dominik Kraus on the topic "Research on warm dense matter at HIBEF" was founded. Dr. Josefine Metzkes-Ng took over the responsibility for a junior group dedicated to "Application-oriented laser particle acceleration" in 2017. In 2018 the research portfolio of Radiation Physics was complemented by another Helmholtz junior research group headed by Dr. Katerina Falk intended to work on "Development of novel laser wakefield probes for the study of structure and transport properties of astrophysically relevant dense plasmas".

Helmholtz Networks

The institute of Radiation Physics is engaged in the Helmholtz Energy Materials Characterization Platform (HEMCP). Seven Helmholtz centers are working on the construction of the joint Laboratory Platform HEMCP for the analysis of new types of energy materials. Within this platform the research infra-structure for AIDA II  is funded.

From 2017 onwards the project “Plasma Accelerators - Probing the femto-scale dynamics of relativistic plasmas” has received funding from the presidents fund in Helmholtz.

Also in 2017 the Weizmann-Helmholtz Laboratory for Laser Matter Interaction (WHELMI)  im israelischen Rechovot was founded.