Students Measure Cosmic Particles


      DESY at Zeuthen is involved in major international research projects in astroparticle physics and is one of the national centres in this field. On the website of the Astroparticle Physics department the different research groups are presented.

      Since 2004 school students are offered the opportunity to perform small research projects in the field of astroparticle physics. In 2011 we joined the nationwide Netzwerk Teilchenwelt, expanding the variety of student activities offered at DESY. Within the network, DESY is responsible for the management and scientific coordination of the sub-project astroparticle physics. Various student experiments to measure cosmic particles have been developed and made available for high school students via more than 20 astroparticle physics institutes throughout Germany.

      In the DESY Cosmic Lab interested high school students become familiar with scientific work using modern measurement and analysis methods. Additionally they will improve their capabilities of presenting scientific results. The direct cooperation with scientists, diploma and PhD students from different groups gives the opportunity to discuss current scientific questions and to experience the daily life of researchers in all its facets. These contacts as well as the gain of experience are meant to cater to the student interests and aid them in choosing their university major.

      The project Measurement of Cosmic Particles enables students to
      • perform experiments,
      • understand the interrelationships in particle and astroparticle physics,
      • investigate their own questions,
      • acquire and deepen their individual knowledge,
      • improve computer programs and documentations or to develop new ones,
      • discuss a broad range of subjects with scientists and students,
      • participate in scientific lectures offered by the institutes.

      In addition, DESY offers further training for teachers to implement particle and astroparticle physics topics into their lectures. The student experiments available at DESY and the other research institutes can be borrowed by teachers for project studies at schools.

      The structure of the following web-pages is given on the left. Under Basics some general information on cosmic particles and on astroparticle physics will be provided. The pages Student Experiments give detailed descriptions of the experiments which can be performed within an internship at DESY or at other institutes and which can also be borrowed by teachers. There, one also finds proposals and questions which can be investigated with these experiments. Students who are interested in the analysis of cosmic particle experiments running continuously at DESY, at the research vessel Polarstern and at the Antarctic station Neumayer III should look at the page Cosmic@Web. The online platform bearing the same name was developed by DESY and will be launched there. The pages Scientific Work give an introduction on how different steps of scientific work are defined. A glossary summarizes and explains special terms used in particle and astroparticle physics. Finally, for further studies a summary of useful Links to other astroparticle websites is given.