Hörandel awarded ERC Advanced Grant

12 April 2018

The pioneering work in the field of Astroparticle Physics of Nikhef researcher Jörg Hörandel from the Radboud University Nijmegen is honored by the European Research Council with a 3.5 Million Euro Advanced Grant. Hörandel is leading an international team of scientists which developed a new technique to explore the origin and physics of the highest-energy elementary particles in the Universe. 

Jörg Hörandel at werk at Pierre Auger

The earth is permanently exposed to a flux of cosmic rays from outer space. These are atomic nuclei with enormous energies. The energies are many times bigger than the energies we can achieve in the largest man-made accelerators. This raise scientific questions: Where do this particles come from? What is the origin of the highest-energy particles in nature? How are these particles accelerated to such high energies? How do this particles interact? Do these particles behave as we expect it from physical models?

Hörandel and his team have developed a new method which uses radio waves to measure the properties of cosmic rays. The work has been pioneered at the LOFAR radio telescope and with a 17 square kilometer prototype detector at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina. The Pierre Auger Observatory is the world-leading installation to measure the properties of cosmic rays. Hörandel and his colleagues aim to add this new detection technique to the complete Auger observatory, covering an area of 3000 square kilometers, the size of a typical Dutch province. With this new detector system they expect to solve the scientific puzzle of the origin of the highest energy particles in the Universe.

More information
News release, Radboud University
List of ERC 2017 Advanced Grants