***Anna Franckowiak accepts offer for full professorship in Multiwavelength Astronomy***

The PIs of the RAPP Center welcome their newest member Anna Franckowiak, who will start as a full professor, taking over the chair "Multiwavelength Astronomy" in October 2020. She will work on the connection of optical, gamma-ray and neutrino emission from Galactic and extragalactic sources and thus contribute in many ways to answering our leading questions. Anna Franckowiak works within the IceCube, Fermi Collaborations and Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) Collaborations. She will, when joining Bochum, also extend and shape the Bochum CTA group.
Welcome, Anna!

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.


***Ruth-Massenberg-Award 2019 to
Dr. Lukas Merten***

The Ruth-Massenberg-Award 2019 goes to Dr. Lukas Merten for his PhD thesis "Anisotropic Transport of Galactic Cosmic Rays based on Stochastic Differential Equations". In his work, he developed a software for the propagation of cosmic rays that as one of the first approaches is capable of describing cosmic-ray diffusion arbitrary three dimentional background fields. He applied this code to different astrophysical environments, in particular concerning the transport of cosmic rays from the Milky Way halo, where these are produced at a Galactic Wind, back to Earth, where we can observe these particles. Award ceremony (RUB News)

***Master Thesis Award 2019 to Patrick Reichherzer***
The award for the best master thesis in 2019 at the faculty for physics and astronomy goes to Patrick Reichherzer from the Chair Theoretical Physics IV, Plasma-Astroparticle Physics (RUB). In his thesis with the title "Calculation of the Diffusion Tensor for the Galactic Magnetic Field and its Implementation in CRPropa", he investigated the cosmic-ray diffusion process. It has long been known that the diffusion process in a finite volume is energy dependent. Patrick Reichherzer could quantify this energy dependence, which turns out to deviate significantly from simplified predictions that are typically used in astrophysical environments.

***Bachelor Thesis Award 2019 to Jonas Finke***
The award for the best bachelor thesis in 2019 at the faculty for physics and astronomy goes to Jonas Finke from the Chair Theoretical Physics IV, Plasma-Astroparticle Physics (RUB). In his thesis with the title "Theoretical Study of Cosmic-Ray-Induced Ionization Profiles in the Galactic Center", he developed a model based on an analytical solution for the differential equation that describes the transport of cosmic-rays in the Galactic Center region. In his model, he uses current measurements to derive the proton flux and fits his results to these measurements. From there, he predicts the ionization rate that cosmic rays induce in the Galactic Center as a function of galactocentric radius. Jonas Finke is now persuing his master in the area of Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, UK.

Media response

On 11 July 2018, Prof. Gerhard Wurm's public Blue Square talk was addressed in issue 1175 of the Bochumer Stadt- und Studierendenzeitung (bsz).
The full text is available below.

News: Public RAPP lecture series extended!

Owing to its distinctively positive reception by attendees, the popular monthly series of public lectures about the RAPP Center's scientific topics and activities "Neue Fenster zum Universum" continues! The venue is Bochum's Blue Square. All talks will be in German and begin at 18:00h (6 p.m.). Admission is free, everybody is welcome!

Upcoming talks:

  • 01 October 2020: : Mission Enceladus: suche nach extraterrestrischem Leben. Speaker: Dr. Pia Friend, Bergische Universität Wuppertal
  • 05 November 2020: : Kosmische Strahlung: Schneller geht's nicht!. Speaker: Dr. Hans Dembinski, Technische Universität Dortmund
  • 03 December 2020: : Grundlagenforschung mit dem Computer: von kleinsten Teilchen bis zur Enstehung des Lebens auf der Erde. Speaker: Prof. Dr. Evgeny Epelbaum, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 07 January 2021: : Es gibt vier Grundkräfte in der Natur, oder? Auf der Suche nach grundlegendem Verständnis von Teilchen und Kräften am CERN.. Speaker: Prof. Dr. Johannes Albrecht, Technische Universität Dortmund

  • More information, including directions and a complete list of talks with respective summaries, can be found at Blue Square's dedicated event page.