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Dr. Kathrin Valerius
Dr. Kathrin Valerius
Group leader Helmholtz University Young Investigators Group VH-NG-1055


Ralf Ulrich
Dr. Ralf Ulrich
Group leader Helmholtz University Young Investigators Group VH-NG-733
Institute for Nuclear Physics (IKP)

Campus North

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institute for Nuclear Physics
Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1
76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen

Postal address:
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institute for Nuclear Physics
Campus Nord, Geb. 401
Postfach 3640
D - 76021 Karlsruhe

Secretary's Office:
Anna Friedrich
Phone: +49/721/608-23546
Fax: +49/721/608-23548





Helmholtz-University Young Investigator Groups



Analysis of KATRIN Data to Measure the Neutrino Mass and Search for New Physics

Group leader: Dr. Kathrin Valerius



The as yet unknown neutrino masses play a key role in our understanding of nature at cosmological as well as subatomic scales. Due to the smallness of neutrino masses, the determination of their absolute scale is a challenging experimental task.

The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN) is targeted to improve the sensitivity for the neutrino mass in kinematic studies of tritium beta decay by one order of magnitude.

During the ongoing construction and commissioning phase of KATRIN the work of the young investigator group focuses on the detailed study and understanding of systematic effects related to the properties of the gaseous molecular tritium source, which form the largest contribution to KATRIN's overall systematic measurement uncertainty. The group is also strongly involved in preparing strategies and tools for the analysis of the first neutrino mass data, and it will contribute substantially to KATRIN's mission towards a precision neutrino mass measurement.

Moreover, the unprecedented quality of the tritium beta spectrum measured with KATRIN will allow to search for novel physics phenomena manifesting around the spectral endpoint. In the second phase of its work programme, the young investigator group will thus exploit high-statistics data to broaden KATRIN's physics reach by addressing these fascinating questions. This includes the search for contributions of right-handed weak currents, violation of Lorentz invariance, eV-scale light sterile neutrinos, or putting constraints on potential local overdensities of cosmic relic neutrinos.


Interpretation of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Ray Data Using LHC Measurements

Group leader: Dr. Ralf Ulrich



The young investigator group explores the overlap region between high energy elementary particle and astroparticle physics. We participate in two major ongoing experimental collaborations: CMS at the Large Hadron Collider and the Pierre Auger Observatory  observing ultra-high energy cosmic rays.It is our mission to perform dedicated measurements of the forward directed multiparticle production at LHC and to apply these to the analysis of cosmic rays data at ultra-high energies. We believe that improved understanding of hadronic interactions at the LHC is of crucial importance in identifying the nature and studying the sources of cosmic ray particles at the highest energies.

Furthermore, cosmic ray data is sensitive to interaction physics up to center-of-mass energies of up to 400 TeV. This is far beyond the reach of the LHC accelerator. This must ultimately be exploited to search for signatures of non-standard particle physics at ultra-high energies with cosmic ray data.

The main focus of the group currently is on data analysis of forward detectors at CMS. These are the hadronic forward calorimeter (HF), the very forward calorimeter (CASTOR) and the zero degree calorimeter (ZDC). There are also tracking detectors overlapping with the acceptance of these calorimeters, but they are part of the TOTEM collaboration and a combination of the data has not yet taken place.

Website of the Helmholtz-University Young Investigator Group