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Beate Heinemann appointed as new director for particle physics at the Helmholz Research Center DESY

Freiburg physics professor is the first female in the directorate

Freiburg, Dec 08, 2021

Beate Heinemann appointed as new director for particle physics at the Helmholz Research Center DESY

Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann. Photo: DESY, Angela Pfeiffer

The Foundation Council of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) has appointed Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann, Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at the Institute of Physics at the University of Freiburg, as director of the research field High Energy Physics. Heinemann will take office on Feb. 1, 2022. She is the first woman to be appointed to the directorate since the research center was founded in 1959. Until now, Heinemann was a senior scientist at DESY. At the University of Freiburg, Heinemann has worked as a professor of experimental particle physics at the Institute of Physics since 2016. “DESY is a world-class laboratory, and I am delighted to be able to help shape its present and its future,” says Heinemann.

DESY is one of the world’s leading accelerator centers and one of the largest German research centers for basic research in physics. The scientists at DESY focus on three main areas: research into the structure and function of matter in particle accelerator facilities, research with photons that make atomic structures and reactions in the nanocosmos visible, and analysis of the fundamental building blocks and forces in the universe. Researchers use their findings to develop innovative materials, for example, and to search for new mechanisms of action for future medicines. The research center of the Helmholtz Association was founded on December 18, 1959, and has sites in Hamburg and Zeuthen.

After receiving her diploma from the University of Hamburg, Heinemann began conducting research to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental particles in the universe and their interactions. She focuses mainly on measurements that study the weak interaction and the Higgs particle. She is also searching for dark matter at the so-called ATLAS, a particle detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN.

Beate Heinemann’s academic background


Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann
Institute of Physics
Tel.: 0761/203-203-5936

Franziska Becker
Office of University and Science Communications
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-54271


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Photo: DESY, Angela Pfeiffer