Please take note that on-site projects are expected to be available for all
project categories below, while online (remote) work projects
will be mostly available in the categories that are software or computing
oriented (e.g. B1, B2, B6).

DESY Summer Students join groups engaged in the following activities:

Program A : Photon Science (only at Hamburg)

  • Students join photon science groups at DESY engaged in fundamental and applied research in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, crystallography, material science, and geological science. Some of the students will work in the frame of the European XFEL project. The work includes participation in activities like preparation and realization of measurements, evaluation of measured data, and technical improvements of instrumentation.
  • A1. Solid-state physics and nanoscience:
    Students will get hands-on experience in a range of topics from the preparation of well-defined, ultra-clean surfaces, the growth of nanostructures by molecular beam epitaxy and sputtering as well as approaches for the characterization of such structures by combining surface sensitive X-ray diffraction with standard surface analytical tools such as scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. In more theoretical projects an introduction to diffraction data analysis concepts is offered.
  • A2. Molecular sciences:
    Students join groups performing research in chemistry, biology and physics aiming at unraveling the structure-function relationship of molecular sciences. Experiments include the imaging of molecular structure and dynamics of systems ranging from small molecules over nano-objects to biological macromolecules, viruses or cells. These experiments push limits of spatial and temporal resolution using novel X-ray, electron, or ultrashort-laser-pulse sources. Projects include sample preparation, imaging experiments, and data analysis.
  • A3. Soft-matter sciences:
    Students learn about methods to investigate the structure and dynamics of systems such as complex liquids and glasses such as small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) using coherent X-ray beams, X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS), and X-ray cross-correlation analysis (XCCA). In addition, they synthesize colloidal samples in our chemistry lab. Hands on experiments using laser scattering set-ups on self-synthesized colloidal systems and analyzing and interpreting the obtained data allows both to train their programming skills as well as the critical discussion of experimental results.
  • A4. Development of experimental techniques:
    Students join groups developing new experimental techniques, including diffraction and scattering, spectroscopy, and imaging. The unique capabilities of X-rays as a probe allows the investigation of a specimen inside special sample environments, such as chemical reactors or pressure cells. Topics include ultrafast, time-resolved or in-situ diffraction and scattering techniques, imaging and microscopy with coherent X-rays, tomography, X-ray optics and nanofocusing, scanning microscopy and microspectroscopy.
  • A5. Lasers and optics:
    Students join groups developing laser sources, measurement and diagnostics techniques and their applications. Topics cover a wide field including ultrafast lasers, high power and high energy lasers, free-electron laser (FEL) seeding, strong field optical sub-cycle pulse synthesis, frequency combs and phase stable laser sources, laser spectroscopy, strong field THz pulse studies, X-ray pulse diagnostics, high order harmonic generation and attosecond science, and ultrafast nano-optics. Projects include handling of laser optics, electronics and programming, simulations and data analysis.
  • A6. Theory and computing:
    Theory projects have a close connection to experimental applications or the development of new methods for characterizing the properties of matter. An intense use of numerical techniques, but also a solid understanding of the underlying theory is required. Students work on solving the Schrödinger equation for highly excited many-electron systems; the time-dependent Schrödinger equation for dynamical processes; techniques for nonperturbative radiation-matter interactions; quantum-chemical simulations; and the development of algorithms for solving specific photon science and imaging problems.

Program B : Research in Elementary Particle Experiments, Accelerators, Theory of experimental particles and Computing:

Experiments in Elementary Particle Physics
The research in the fields B1-B3 is concentrated in the following areas:
-- the experiments ATLAS, CMS at the proton-proton-collider LHC,
-- the preparations for future experiments in particle physics,
-- the Belle II experiment and
-- the experiment ALPS II at DESY.
The activities can be characterized by the following categories:
  • B1. Physics analysis (software-oriented):
    Students participate in one of the physics analyses carried out in the DESY ATLAS and CMS groups in the areas of electroweak and Higgs physics, standard model measurements, QCD, top quark physics and searches for new physics. Alternatively they join the DESY Belle II group for performing flavour physics analyses or the International Linear Collider group preparing physics analyses of future data. The B1 students analyse real and/or simulated data and contribute to specific analysis tasks such as optimising the signal to background separation or fitting possible new physics signals to the data.
  • B2. Data processing (software-oriented):
    The student focus more on developing specific software that is needed to effectively perform the physics measurements. The students contribute to the development of algorithms and codes in specific areas such as reconstructing physics objects (particles) from the detector data, event triggering, detector calibration, data quality monitoring and optimal and efficient physics analysis based on the identified particles. A further topic is event simulation.
  • B3. Development of experimental equipment (hardware-oriented):
    Development of experimental equipment (hardware-oriented)
    Students join experimental groups working on the development of detectors, e.g. ATLAS and CMS at the High-Luminosity LHC, the ILD, BELLE II and ALPS II. Groups at DESY work on silicon trackers, gaseous detectors, data acquisition systems, and testbeams. The students contribute to laboratory and testbeam setups, prepare and perform test measurements with prototypes, analyse and interpret the measured data.

  • B4. Research on Accelerators:
    Students join groups engaged in the development of accelerators. Activities include prototype projects for an e+e- linear collider with an emphasis on superconducting rf cavities and projects for beamline instrumentation and plasma wakefield acceleration. In Zeuthen students can actively participate in the development of the photo injector test facility PITZ.
  • B5. Theory of Elementary Particles:
    Students acquire some elementary insight into topics from the wide spectrum of research carried out in Hamburg at the DESY Hamburg theory group and in Zeuthen at the DESY Zeuthen theory group, the NIC institute. Depending on previous knowledge, activities typically range from further reading, with discussions of theoretical concepts and research methods, to participation in simple research projects. Students are encouraged to indicate in their application if they have a preference for a particular field of research pursued in the theory groups. Often at least a minimum pre-knowledge (e.g. from lecture courses) is required in order to be selected for a project in a particular field.
  • B6. Computing:
    At DESY Hamburg students can participate in various areas of scientific computing such as Grid and Cloud, data management (dCache), high performance (HPC) and GPU, and in infrastructures for analysis. At Zeuthen students participate also in tests and software development for powerful parallel computers

Program C : Research in Astroparticle Physics:

We explore high-energy processes in our universe and study messengers from outer space. Projects for summer students are offered in the following area of physics analysis, instrument development, and theory of astroparticle physics.
  • C1. Astroparticle physics analysis and observations:
    Physics analysis in the context of gamma-ray observatories like CTA, H.E.S.S., MAGIC, and VERITAS, the IceCube neutrino observatory, optical and UV telescopes, and future detectors for high-energy astrophysics. Projects include analysis of data taken with the listed observatories, algorithm development, transient detection methods, and activities in advanced computing and on machine learning techniques.
  • C2. Instrumentation for Astroparticle Physics:
    Activities encompass the development of instrumentation for astroparticle experiments, including readout electronics, radio equipment, photo detectors, semiconductor sensors, and optical devices.
  • C3. Theory of Astroparticle Physics:
    Students are offered participation in research projects related to the modeling of astrophysical phenomena and interpretation of information from multiple high-energy messengers. Studies include the theoretical treatment of particle acceleration, high velocity outflows and turbulences, and gravitational waves.

In the online application: please mark for which program categories you apply (up to three choices), examples:
- you mark A1, A4, A5 as your choices
- you mark B1, B5, B3 as your choices
- you mark C1, C2, C3 as your choices
Please take note:
- it is also possible to mix categories, e.g. marking A5, B1, C1, or B1, C3, A1, etc.
- Since the number of available places are very different in the subcatagories your first choice may not be realized.