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 Germany and the US, 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. You can find my CV here.

  • 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

    PDF (not always uptodate)

  • CV

  • Group

    My group is currently funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council as well as institute funding.

    Minh Nguyen

    PhD student (2016-2020); Postdoc (2020-2021). Kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect and Bayesian inference from forward modeling using novel likelihood approaches.

    Linda Blot

    Postdoc (2019-). Large-scale structure, dark energy, simulations.

    Andrija Kostic

    PhD student (2020-); Bayesian inference from forward modeling applied to large-scale structure.

    Former Group Members

    Hiu-Yan (Sam) Ip

    Phd Student (2014-2018). Modified gravity, relativistic aspects of cosmology. Now at Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.

    Titouan Lazeyras

    PhD student (2014-2018). Bias of dark matter halos, N-body simulations. Now at SISSA, Trieste.

    Franz Elsner

    Postdoc (2016-2018). Analysis of large data sets from CMB (Planck) and large-scale structure. Now at res mechanica.

    Alexandre Barreira

    Postdoc (2015-2020). N-body and hydro simulations of separate universes and modified gravity, covariance of cosmological power spectra, raytracing. Now at Excellence Cluster ORIGINS.

    Giovanni Cabass

    Postdoc (2017-2020). CMB, large-scale structure and inflation. Now at Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

    Job opportunities

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


    My students are 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 1 of each year).


    MPA has openings for MPA fellowship positions which are announced on the AAS job register in October of every year. Now open: postdoc position in forward modeling of galaxy clustering. See here for details.


    Due to administrative and logistical hurdles, I do not accept internships from students who are not local (in the Munich/Garching area or nearby). For more explanation, see here.

    Modern Cosmology, Second Edition

    The second edition of Modern Cosmology has appeared in June 2020. See here.


    • Address

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

    • Phone

      +49 (0) 89 30000 2274