World's largest radio telescope gets its own legal form

The Low Frequency Array - LOFAR - is the world's largest radio telescope for measuring short and ultra-short radio waves from space. Together with the Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), the Ruhr University Bochum operates a LOFAR antenna field close to the FZJ. Furthermore, RAPP member Prof. Ralf-Jürgen Dettmar played a key role in the founding of the International LOFAR Telescope (ILT).

Due to the Europe-wide importance of LOFAR, the European Commission has decided to give the telescope, which was previously organized as a project, an independent legal form: From January 22, 2024, the consortium was transformed into a European research infrastructure consortium (short: ERIC).
This reinforces the great importance of LOFAR for cutting-edge astronomical research.


The RAPP Center

In the fall of 2015, the Ruhr Astroparticle and Plasma Physics Center (RAPP Center) was founded in order to combine research efforts within the fields of plasma, particle, and astrophysics in the Ruhr area. The three universities Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Technische Universität Dortmund, and Universität Duisburg-Essen are located within a radius of 20 kilometers, enabling close collaboration between the universities. Founding principal investigators (PIs) of the RAPP Center are Prof. Wurm (Duisburg-Essen), Professors Dettmar, Schlickeiser, and Tjus (all Bochum), as well as Professors Rhode and Spaan (both Dortmund). In June 2017, the center was expanded, now combining research activities of 23 PIs from the areas astro-, particle, and plasma physics. In the RAPP Center, scientists conduct frontier research with the aim to significantly contribute to answering four fundamental physics questions that interlink the three subdisciplines of physics:

  • What is the origin of cosmic rays?
  • What is the nature of neutrinos and dark matter?
  • How does the interaction of cosmic rays influence the interstellar medium – from molecular clouds to protoplanetary disks?
  • How are magnetic fields generated and maintained in the Universe?
By following this unique synergistic approach, the RAPP Center combines knowledge on basic plasma and particle physics with astrophysical processes in order to understand signatures of interacting matter in the Universe. This joint approach necessitates a regular exchange about new works and results, as exemplified in the large number of topically relevant talks in the Center's seminars.

Support for Ukrainian master students in physics

The RAPP Center is looking with horror at the war of aggression against Ukraine and the huge suffering of the Ukrainian people that it is causing. There are no words to express our worries for the people and our sorry for the losses that have already happened.

Therefore, RAPP Center now offers financial support for Ukrainian master students in physics. Please find an announcement with more details below. Please spread it widely and contact us if you have questions.

Beyond this offer, we are also welcoming scientists at all career stages working in our field from Ukraine as guests in the RAPP Center and can also financially support them.
Please contact us also in this case.

Julia Tjus, director of the RAPP Center, in the name of all members

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