The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) explores astrophysical questions ranging from the investigation of the sun to cosmology. Its key areas of research are cosmic magnetic fields, extragalactic astrophysics, and the development of research technologies in the areas of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes and e‑Science. AIP carries out its research mandate within numerous national, European and international cooperative ventures. AIP has its historic roots in the Berlin Observatory, founded in 1700, and the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam (AOP), established in 1874, which was the world’s first institute dedicated explicitely to astrophysics. AIP became a member of the Leibniz Association in 1992.
The research area of Cosmic Magnetic Fields is dedicated to the exploration of solar, stellar and galactic magnetic fields, along with the underlying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) mechanisms that generate them. The aim is to understand the complex relationships between the structure of matter and the geometry and strength of magnetic fields and their feedback. The research area of Extragalactic Astrophysics is dedicated to the formation of stars and galaxies, and the large-scale structure of the universe. Galaxies are fundamental cosmic building blocks. Nearby objects can be resolved spatially and are allocated to populations of different kinematics, stellar formation history and chemical abundances. The two areas are complemented by the development of research technology and infrastructure. As a partner in large-scale international astronomical projects, AIP acts as a competence center for robotic telescopes, e‑science and 3D/Multi‑Object Spectroscopy. In addition to basic research, AIP carries out technology transfer activities that are concentrated around the center for innovation competence innoFSPEC.
Lectureships at universities in Potsdam and Berlin and the supervision of Master’s and doctoral theses ensure that AIP is linked to university research and teaching. In cooperation with the University of Potsdam, AIP offers a structured doctoral program and the Leibniz Graduate School for Quantitative Spectroscopy in Astrophysics. AIP also offers apprenticeships in technical areas, IT and administration. Offers for pupils include events, lectures and visits, as well as supervised pupil internships at AIP.
Head of Institute/contact persons:
- Scientific Chairman and Director of Extragalactic Astrophysics: Professor Dr. Matthias Steinmetz
- Director of Cosmic Magnetic Fields: Professor Dr. Klaus G. Strassmeier
- Administrative Chairman: Matthias Winker
- Scientific Coordinator and Head of Press and Public Outreach: Dr. Janine Fohlmeister