Fabian Schmidt, Cosmologist

I'm a scientific staff member (Forschungsgruppenleiter) at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik (MPA), Garching (near Munich), Germany. I am interested in all aspects of cosmology, though I have also worked on weak gravitational lensing and cosmic ray physics.


deals with the question of what our Universe as a whole is made of, as well as its history and evolution. Two of the most pressing mysteries in cosmology are the nature of dark matter and dark energy, which appear to make up 96% of the Universe's current energy budget.

Gravitational Lensing

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, gravity affects not only ordinary matter, but light as well. The intense gravitational pull of galaxies and clusters of galaxies lets them act as cosmic magnifying glasses. This allows us to measure all matter, both visible and dark.

Cosmic Rays

Earth is constantly bombarded by extremely energetic particles that have been generated by cosmic particle accelerators far more powerful than the ones we can build on Earth. We still do not know what these accelerators actually are, although there are several suspects.

About me

Having grown up in Bonn, Brussels and the New York City suburbs, I did my undergraduate at Humboldt University, Berlin, graduating with a (Diplom) thesis on cosmic gamma rays. I then moved to Chicago for graduate school.

  • PhD (2005-2009), University of Chicago

    Advisors: Scott Dodelson, Wayne Hu

  • Moore Fellow (2009-2012), Caltech

    Sponsor: Marc Kamionkowski

  • NASA CXC Einstein Fellow (2012-2013), Princeton University

    Sponsor: David Spergel

  • Scientific staff, tenure track (2013-2016), MPA

    Physical Cosmology Division, Director: Eiichiro Komatsu

  • Permanent scientific staff (Forschungsgruppenleiter) (2017-), MPA

  • Publications



    My group is currently funded by the institute, by a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant, and starting in September 2016, a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

    Hiu-Yan (Sam) Ip

    Phd Student (2014-). Modified gravity, relativistic aspects of cosmology

    Titouan Lazeyras

    PhD student (2014-). Bias of dark matter halos, N-body simulations.

    Alexandre Barreira

    Postdoc (2015-). Modified gravity N-body simulations, raytracing.

    Franz Elsner

    Postdoc (2016-). Analysis of large data sets from CMB (Planck) and large-scale structure.

    Minh Nguyen

    PhD student (2016-). Cosmology from large-scale structure data using novel likelihood approaches.

    Giovanni Cabass

    Postdoc (2017-). CMB, large-scale structure and inflation.

    Job opportunities

    In case you are interested in joining my group as a student or postdoc, please see the information below.


    My students are typically members of the IMPRS (International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics) at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich. The online application can be found here (deadline: November 15).


    MPA has openings for MPA fellowship positions every year. The next job announcement will appear in the fall of 2017. All fellowship applications will also be considered for independently funded postdoc positions in my group.


    • Address

      Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1
      85748 Garching
      Office: 150
    • Email

    • Phone

      +49 (0) 89 30000 2274