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GSI doctoral candidate award for trap experiment

Photo: Gaby Otto/GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

Dr. Andreas Mooser (2nd from left) at the ceremony.



Dr. Andreas Mooser received the GSI doctoral candidate award. He was awarded for his doctoral research on high-precision measurement of magnetic moment of proton. The award, which is presented every year, is endowed with 1000 Euro and is funded by Pfeiffer Vacuum. The award was presented by GSI scientific director, Professor Karlheinz Langanke, and Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen, a member of Pfeiffer Vacuum GmbH management. Guest of honor and speaker was ESA General Director Johann-Dietrich Wörner.

For his dissertation, Dr. Mooser and his colleagues kept a single proton at minus 268 degrees Celsius for 13 months in order to measure the magnetic moment of the proton. This was made possible by high-precision equipment known as the Double Penning trap. Dr. Mooser developed this ultra-sensitive vacuum-isolated apparatus for the experiments at the University of Mainz together with scientists from GSI, the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and the Japanese RIKEN research institute. “This enabled us to detect single spin quantum jumps of the proton”, explained Dr. Mooser. The magnetic moment of the proton is particularly interesting for solving the puzzle of antimatter in the universe. Close comparison of the magnetic moments of antiprotons and protons can shed some light on why matter and antimatter did not completely annihilate each other after the Big Bang, and why there was a surplus of matter left from which our universe emerged. Recent experiments conducted by the BASE collaboration at CERN, of which Dr. Mooser is meanwhile a member, showed that both charge-to-mass ratios are equal in magnitude.

“I feel honored and extremely gratified that my work has been singled out for the GSI doctoral award”, said Dr. Mooser, who wrote his dissertation at the University of Mainz, the Helmholtz Institute Mainz and GSI. “Measuring the magnetic moment of the proton paves the way for future research into missing antimatter in the universe.”

Pfeiffer Vacuum and the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung have been linked through a partnership for many years. Vacuum solutions from Pfeiffer Vacuum have been successfully utilized there for decades. Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen, member of Pfeiffer Vacuum management, congratulated the laureate: "It is immensely important to Pfeiffer Vacuum to foster new talent in cutting-edge research. Pfeiffer Vacuum has been setting standards in vacuum technology for 125 years. The company was built on a pioneering spirit and passion which has led it to successfully contribute to technological progress in industry and science from the very beginning.”

"The outstanding research opportunities at the GSI accelerator and the development of the future FAIR accelerator attract many young researchers from around the world to GSI," said GSI scientific director, Professor Karlheinz Langanke. "They contribute important innovative ideas to the development of the new accelerators and detectors."

The GSI doctoral candidate award is offered for the best dissertation every year. Eligible students have to have earned their doctorate during the previous year and have been sponsored by GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung as part of its strategic partnerships with the universities of Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Heidelberg, Jena and Mainz or through the Research and development program.  There are currently over 300 doctoral candidates working on their dissertations at GSI and FAIR within the scope of the graduate school HGS-HIRe (Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research).

Dr. Andreas Mooser (2nd from left) at the ceremony.
from the left: Karlheinz Langanke, Scientific Director of GSI, awardee Dr. Andreas Mooser, Dr. Ulrich von Hülsen, member of Pfeiffer Vacuum Technology AG management, Johann-Dietrich Wörner, General Director of the Euopean Space Agency.
Photo: Gaby Otto/GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH