Dorothea Samtleben Lab

Nature provides many messengers from far distances delivering information on the past of the Universe and also its content. Photons are the most common messengers and I have in previous research used those to learn about the early Universe, measuring the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, a relic radiation from the early Universe (CAPMAP, QUIET).The subtle imprint from gravitational waves in the early Universe on the pattern of the polarization can provide new insights on the very first moments of the Universe.


Our current research focusses on the exploration of the Universe with a different messenger, the neutrino. This neutral almost massless and only weakly interacting particle can open a window to the distant Universe and also dense regions from which photons cannot escape. It allows to learn about extreme environments where particles are accelerated to energies far beyond the reach of man-made accelerators. With the recent first detection of high-energetic extraterrestrial neutrinos by the IceCube experiment neutrino astronomy has started. It is now the goal to follow up on these exciting measurements to discover the origin of these particles.


We are working with the Antares neutrino telescope located on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea at 2.5km depth. Construction has by now started for a significantly larger structure - named KM3NeT (sketch below).