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Questions about the MPA (institute and people):
down.gifWhere is MPA?
down.gifWhat is your research about?
down.gifHow is MPA funded?
down.gifAre there jobs available?
down.gifDo I have to be able to speak German to work at MPA?
down.gifI am a student--can I do research/get my degree at MPA?
down.gifDoes MPA offer possibilities "Praktika" or "Praktikumssemester"?
down.gifHow can I contact someone about a research question?
down.gifHow About visiting?
down.gifI'm from the press--who do I contact?

Questions about MPA research:
down.gifWhere can I find specific research results?
down.gifWhat is the MPA role in the Planck mission?
down.gifDoes MPA collaborate with other institutions?

General Questions about Astrophysics:
down.gifWhat is Astrophysics?
down.gifWhere can I get a good overview of current Astrophysics research?
down.gifHow do you become an Astrophysicist?

Answers - MPA (institute and people)

Where is MPA? Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics is located outside of Garching bei München (Munich) in southern Germany. To get maps and directions, go to the linkPfeil.gifContact page.

What is your research about?
Research at MPA is devoted to a broad range of topics in theoretical astrophysics. Major concentrations of interest lie in the areas of stellar physics, nuclear and neutrino astrophysics, numerical hydrodynamics, high energy astrophysics, accretion, galaxy formation and the intergalactic medium, large-scale structure from z=0 to the Big Bang, gravitational lensing effects, investigations of the cosmic microwave background, quantum mechanics of atoms and molecules, astrochemistry. For a more in-depth description, please browse our linkPfeil.gifScientific Research pages.

How is MPA funded?
MPA is funded partly by the Ministry of Research and Education of the Federal Government of Germany and partly by the state of Bavaria.

Are there jobs available?
Yes, occassionally research positions become available at the MPA. Please go to the linkPfeil.gifJobs page for offers and more information.

Do I have to be able to speak German to work at MPA?
No. All talks and scientific discussions are held in English, and administrative tasks at MPA can be done in English as well.

I am a student--can I do research/get my degree at MPA?
Besides the described projects different supervisors offer topics for Diploma and PhD theses. If interested, please send your application (CV, certificates) to:
Mrs. Cornelia Rickl
Max Planck Institut für Astrophysik
Postfach 1317
D-85741 Garching, Germany

Foreign students interested in a PhD work at MPA, please apply to the International Max-Planck-Research School on Astrophysics (IMPRS). Information and application requirements can be found at linkPfeilExtern.gif

Does MPA offer possibilities "Praktika" or "Praktikumssemester"?
Yes, for at least four weeks, for pupils and students. But note that we are a theory institute and do not provide work on experiments or in a laboratory. For more information see linkPfeil.gif here .

How can I contact someone about a research question?
Send general questions per email to:
or write a letter to:
The Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics,
Oeffentlichkeitsarbeit (Public Relations)
Postfach 1317
D-85741 Garching, Germany

You'll get an answer if we have one.

How About visiting?
We offer the possibility for visits to school classes or special groups, but, unfortunately, cannot take care of interested individuals. There is a Day of The Open House every second year in fall.

I'm from the press--who do I contact?
Press or public relations inquiries may be directed to
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle: (+49 89) 30000 - 3980
Mrs. Cornelia Rickl: (+49 89) 30000 - 2201
Mrs. Maria Depner: (+49 89) 30000-2214), or
Dr. Hans-Thomas Janka: (+49 89) 30000 - 2228

Answers - MPA research

Where can I find specific research results?
To find specific research results, please go to the Scientific Research Section for linkPfeil.gifPreprints of papers and to visit linkPfeil.gifGroup webpages. For past research, review the linkPfeil.gifMPA Annual Reports. You may also contact individual scientists.

What is the MPA role in the Planck mission?
MPA has three roles within the Planck project: (1) we build the software environment for the analysis of Planck data and for the simulation of synthetic data. This software environment provides software for automatic operation of complex simulation and analysis pipelines. (2) We will build up the final data archive for all of Planck data, and an archive of simulated data before that in order to test the archive concepts, access mechanisms and so on. (3) We are responsible for developing and operating the Planck simulation pipeline, which is important because these synthetic data can be used by data analysts to check and calibrate their analysis algorithms.

Apart from that, MPA is contributing to science working groups which help prepare the science to be done with the Planck data.

Does MPA collaborate with other institutions?
Yes, MPA is involved in many collaborations and research networks, national and international. Please look up: linkPfeil.gifResearch Collaborations

Answers - General Astrophysics questions

What is Astrophysics?
Astrophysics is the effort of humans to unravel the mysteries of our universe and the objects in it, mainly on the planetary scale or larger, involving observational instruments, mathematical calculations and computations, and a big deal of physics intuition.

Where can I get a good overview of current Astrophysics research?
This depends much on the level of information looked for. On a "beyond popular and close to scientific level" we recommend the journal "Sterne und Weltraum". Information can be found at:

How do you become an Astrophysicist?
In Germany you should study physics at a good university and attend astrophysics courses after the Vordiplom. A good foundation in mathematics is very useful, experience in numerical mathematics and computer use is highly recommended. Also good knowledge of English is indispensable.

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Last modified: 2011-6-30