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Three Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups at Desy

Dr. Sadia Bari, Dr. Martin Beyer, and Dr. Sarah Heim have been selected this year to form new Helmholtz Young Investigators Groups at DESY

With an annual support of 250,000 euro per year, the three young scientists can build up their own research groups at DESY over the next five years. Overall, the Helmholtz Association promotes 17 new junior research groups at its 18 centres. “I am delighted that three of our candidates were able to convince with their projects. This shows the excellence of young scientists at DESY”, emphasised the Chairman of the DESY Directorate, Professor Helmut Dosch. DESY covers half of the funding amount.

New Research Methods for Biomolecules

Dr. Sadia Bari will develop new methods for biomolecules, with these proteins being send by so-called electrospray ionization right into in the beam of bright X-ray sources in order to examine substrate and solvent in a defined state. In this way, Dr. Bari’s team hopes to clarify various fundamental issues such as radiation damage in medical radiation on biological cells, and the electrical charge transport, for example, during the photosynthesis in plants.

Soft X-Rays

Dr. Martin Beyer was awarded the contract for the development of novel testing methods in materials science with the help of X-rays. So-called soft X-rays, which possess less energy than hard X-rays, are particularly suitable for studying active surfaces and interfaces, by being especially sensitive to the active chemical elements in composite materials. In the project, examination methods used in optical laser spectroscopy will be transferred to studies conducted by X-ray . The scientists thus hope to achieve a significant expansion of investigation methods, such as the introduction of optical lasers brought along.

Looking for Dark Matter

Dr. Sarah Heim is building a research group working on “dark matter” and other so-called New Physics with the help of the ATLAS detector at the world’s biggest particle accelerator LHC. The researchers want to search for candidates of the hitherto completely enigmatic dark matter in two ways. With the recent discovery of a Higgs boson at a mass around 126 GeV and in the absence of any sign of New Physics signatures so far, even more focus has been placed on the interpretation of key collider searches in order to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the “big picture”. Heim’s research group is part of the ATLAS group at DESY.

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