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Kirchhoff Institute for Physics Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

27 10 2009
Ceremony, visiting tour (open labs), public evening lecture

The Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics (KIP) celebrates its tenth anniversary. Established in 1999, the KIP looks back on ten years of successful endeavour as one of Heidelberg University’s outstanding research institutions. On this occasion, the institute hosts a special ceremony on Monday, 2 November 2009. The public is cordially invited to visit the premises on this day. Subsequently, a public evening lecture takes place.

The planning of the new research and teaching building on the Neuenheimer Feld campus provided the basis for the founding of a pioneering institute of the Ruperto Carola. The Institutes for Applied Physics and High Energy Physics realised the unique value enabled by the joint use of their highly sophisticated experimental and technical infrastructure, by creating an attractive environment for physics students at all levels and encouraging cooperation between the different fields of physics.

“The establishment of the KIP marked the end of a division of labour between basic and applied research, thereby making way for the implementation of a structure geared to meet modern scientific challenges,” says Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier, Director of the institute.

From the outset, the KIP, which took possession of its new building in 2002, has engaged with two essential issues in physics: How do complex structures evolve and what are the fundamental laws that govern the microcosm. “After ten years of work we can draw a very positive balance,” says Professor Meier. With a staff of 260, ten research groups, efficient resource and personnel administration, six technical departments and external funding to the tune of 25 million Euros so far, the Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics is excellently positioned. “The standing it has achieved makes the Institute an attractive partner in integrated international research ventures,” Professor Meier adds.

Another issue he emphasises is the crucial importance of involving the students in the successful work done by the Institute. With a variety of lectures, exhibitions, experimentation courses for children and physics shows, the KIP also addresses the public at large. During the anniversary celebrations the institute is opening the doors of its laboratories and workrooms at Neuenheimer Feld 227 to all those interested in a visiting tour (Monday, 2 November 2009, from 6 to 8 p.m.). In the subsequent lecture, Prof. Dr. Markus Oberthaler discusses the question: “Photons: Do they really exist?” It begins at 8 p.m. in the Otto Haxel lecture hall.

For more information on the anniversary celebrations go to

Note for journalists
The Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics cordially welcomes journalists to a press meeting on Monday, 2 November 2009. Between 2 and 2.45 p.m. in Room SB 1.107 of the KIP building, scientists working at the institute will be available to provide information and answer questions. The anniversary ceremony in the Otto Haxel lecture hall follows at 3 p.m. After words of welcome from the Dean of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Prof. Dr. Christian Enss, Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier will give a speech entitled “KIP: The First Ten Years”. After that there will be two lectures on the topics “Quanta beat the classical precision limit” (Christian Groß, speaking in German) and “Neutrino Mass: Which Balance Can Measure It?” (Dr. Loredana Gastaldo).


Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Meier
Kirchhoff Institute of Physics
phone: +49 6221 549830/549831

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