ABOUT ME

manuel_meyer

I am a research group leader for high-energy astroparticle physics at the University of Hamburg supported by an ERC Starting grant. See the project website for more information.  

In 2023, I will start an associate professor position at the CP3-origins center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. 

I am a member of multiple international research collaborations running and building observatories for gamma-ray radiation from space (CTAFermi-LATH.E.S.S.) as well as particle physics experiments (ALPS, IAXO).
 
Before moving back to Hamburg, I was a Marie Curie Research fellow at the Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physcs (ECAP), a Feodor Lynen Research fellow of the Humboldt foundation at Stanford University and the Kavli Insitute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) and a return fellow in the ALPS group at DESY. I have been a post-doc at the Oskar Klein Centre at Stockholm University in Jan Conrad's group.

Originally, I am from Hamburg, Germany, where I also did my PhD in Prof. Dieter Horns' group. My masters thesis (in German) is available here

FIND ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

MY RESEARCH

Below I summarize some of my research interests.

  1. DARK MATTER SEARCHES - More than 80% of all matter in the Unverse is made up of enigmatic dark matter that does neither absorb nor emit any radiation. We know that it exists due to its gravitational interactions but its exact nature remains one of the fundamental problems of physics today. One possibility is that Dark Matter is composed of one or several yet undiscovered fundamental particles.
    My research uses gamma-ray observations to search for dark matter particle candidates, motivated from theory. On the one hand, I look for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), and on the other hand for axions and axionlike particles (ALPs). Check out this NASA news article for some more information. 
    I also contribute to the ALPS laboratory experiment, where it is planned to search for ALPs by shining a powerful laser on a wall and search for particles that might traverse this light-tight barrier. 
  2. COSMIC ACCELERATORS - In order to produce high-energy photons (gamma rays, ~ 1 million times more energetic than X-rays), extreme environments are necessary that accelerate particles beyond energies accessible with particle colliders such as the LHC at CERN in Switzerland. I study two types of such environments: blazar jets and supernova remnants, in particular the Crab nebula. Blazars are a special type of galaxy that produce outflows of particles that travel almost at the speed of light. In these jets, gamma rays are produced and if we look right down the jet, they appear very bright and we can see these blazars even if they are billions of light years away.
    Supernova remnants like the Crab nebula, on the other hand, are the remains of an exploded star. In the case of the Crab, there is a fast-rotating neutron star in the center. Particles are thought to be accelerated on shock fronts in the ejecta of the progenitor. 
  3. PROPAGATION OF HIGH ENERGY PHOTONS IN THE UNIVERSE - gamma rays do not traverse the Universe unperturbed. They can interact with background radiation such as the extragalactic background light (EBL). The EBL consists of the starlight emitted over the entire history of the Universe and the starlight that has been absorbed and re-emitted by dust. If a gamma ray interacts with an EBL photon, it produces a pair of one electron and its anti-particle, the positron. Just like clouds block the sunlight, the EBL can partially block gamma rays from reaching us. Using blazars as cosmic beacons of gamma rays, we can study the EBL and eventually the formation of stars during the history of the Universe. Much more about the EBL will be learned with future CTA observations. Check out the article "What the Propagation of Energetic Light Can tell us About the Evolution of Stars, Intergalactic Magnetic Fields and Fundamental Physics" in the CTA newsletter for further information.  
  4. INTERGALACTIC MAGNETIC FIELDS - The electron-positron pairs discussed above can again scatter photons of the cosmic microwave background, boosting them to gamma-ray energies. These gamma rays can again interact with the EBL and create a chain reaction of produced electrons and positrons and gamma rays. Since electrons and positrons are charged, they are deflected by magnetic fields. If the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) is sufficiently strong, the gamma rays in the cascade arrive delayed from the primary gamma rays and blazars would appear extended in the gamma-ray sky. I use observations of the Fermi-LAT satellite and imaging Cherenkov Telescopes to search for such features, and I have derived projections for CTA to look for the cascade gamma rays. See also this news article and this little stop motion video I made. 

DATA FILES

Please find below some data files connected to my research. If you use these files, please cite the appropriate papers: Fermi LAT analysis of bright FSRQsFermi LAT extended source catalogNGC 1275 analysis, ALP induced gamma-ray burst, CTA sensitivity for ALP detection, ALP lower limits for transparency hint, 2015 Crab nebula model, 2010 Crab model

PUBLICATIONS

You can find my publication list and links to bibliography services below. 

TEACHING

Links to courses I have taught in the past and professional teaching training I received.

TALKS AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

An incomplete list of seminars, presentations, and public outreach events

2022

- "Probing the intergalactic magnetic field through gamma-ray observations with the Fermi LAT and H.E.S.S." invited talk at the Heraeus Seminar "The variable Multi-Messenger Sky", 7-10 November, 2022, Cracow, Poland 
- "A first application of machine and deep learning for background rejection in the ALPS II TES detector", poster presentation at the 17th Patras Workshop on Axions, WIMPs and WISPs, 8-12 August, 2022, Mainz, Germany
- Lecture on axion-like particle searches using astrophysical observations at the "Ultralight dark matter" Foundations and Searches summer school 31 July - 5 August, 2022, Bad Honnef, Germany
- "Probing the intergalactic magnetic field through gamma-ray observations with the Fermi LAT and H.E.S.S." contributed talk at the 7th Heidelberg International Symposium on High-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy, 4-8 July 2022, Barcelona, Spain
- "Recent science highlights from the Fermi Large Area Telescope" invited talk at the 28th Cracow Epiphany Conference on Recent Advances in Astroparticle Physics, 10-14 January 2022, Cracow Poland (hybrid format)

2021

- "Search for axion-like-particle induced gamma-ray bursts from core-collapse supernovae with the Fermi LAT", contributed talk at ICRC 2021, 12-23 July, 2021, Berlin, Germany (held online)
- "gammaALPs: An open-source python package for computing photon-axion-like-particle oscillations in astrophysical environments", poster presentation at ICRC 2021, 12-23 July, 2021, Berlin, Germany (held online) 
- "The detectability of fast gamma-ray blazar flares from magnetic reconnection 
with the Fermi Large Area Telescope", poster presentation at 2021 Jets Conference, 14-18 June, 2021, Heidelberg, Germany (held online)
- "Axion Searches with Laboratory-Based and Cosmic Light Sources", invited talk at the Quantum Universe Astroparticle Colloquium, University of Hamburg and DESY, June 8, 2021, Hamburg, Germany (held online).  
- "Probing cosmology and particle acceleration with gamma-ray propagation", invited talk at the Radboud University Astrophysics Colloquium, February 23.  

2020

- Public talk at the Nuremberg Observatory, 3 December, Nuremberg, Germany. Cancelled due to Covid19 Pandemic.
- "Indirect dark matter searches with gamma-ray telescopes", invited talk at the 2020 Kashiwa Dark Matter Symposium, 16-19 November, virtual. A video of the talk is available here.
- Invited talk at the 16th Dark Side of the Universe Conference, 13-17 July, Kigali, Rwanda. Postponed to 2021 due to Covid19 Pandemic.
- Invited talk and hand-on Fermi LAT analysis sessaion at the ISAPP school “Gamma rays to shed light on dark matter”, 21-30 June, Madrid, Spain. Postponed to 2021 due to Covid19 Pandemic. 
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Invited Talk at the DPG Spring Meeting 2020, 29 March - 3 April, Bonn, Germany. Cancelled due to Covid19 Pandemic.

2019

-"Searching for signatures of fundamental physics on gamma-ray propagation with Fermi-LAT observations", invited talk at the 15th Patras Workshop on Axions, WIMPs and WISPs, 3-7 June, Freiburg, Germany 
- "Testing cosmology and fundamental physics with the Cherenkov Telescope Array", talk at the 1st CTA Symposium, 6-9 May, Bologna, Italy
-"Characterizing the gamma-ray variability of the brightest flatspectrum radio quasars observed with the Fermi LAT" and "Probing the physics of cosmological gamma-ray propagationwith the Cherenkov Telescope Array", poster presentations at the 17th Annual Meeting for High Energy Astrophysics Division of the AAS,  17-21 March, Monterey, California
- "Supermassive black holes as particle accelerators", public outreach talk at the Silicon Valley Nerd Night, January 29

2018

- "Characterizing the brightest gamma-ray flares of flat spectrum radio quasars", talk at the 8th International Fermi Symposium, 14-19 October, Baltimore, MD, USA
- "Characterizing the brightest gamma-ray flares of flat spectrum radio quasars", talk at the TeV Particle Astrophysics 2018 (TeVPA 2018) Conference, 27-31 August, Berlin, Germany
- "Shining light through walls with Dark Matter", public outreach talk at Astronomy on Tap in San Francisco, 13 February

2017

- "Indirect Axion and Axionlike Particle Searches at Gamma-Ray Energies", Invited talk at the 7th International Fermi Symposium, 15-20 October, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
-"Searches for Angular Extension in High Latitude Fermi-LAT Sources" and "AMEGO: Dark Matter Prospects", talks at the TeV Particle Astrophysics 2017 (TeVPA 2017) Conference, 7-11 August, Columbus, OH, USA, see also this video
- "Astrophysical searches for axions and axionlike particles at gammaray energies", Invited talk at the South American Dark Matter Workshop, May 10-12, ICTP-SAIFR, São Paulo, Brazil
- Invited Seminar at the Universidad Católica de Chile (April 17) and Universidad de Santiago de Chile, April 18
"Future Constraints of Dark Matter Effective Field Theories and Simplified Models with CTA", DM@LHC workshop, April 3-5 UC Irvine, California, USA
- Invited talk at the GRAPPA Seminar, January 23, Gravitation and Astroparticle Physics in Amsterdam center, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

2016

- Invited talk at the Astroparticle Seminar at the Niels Bohr International Academy, November 1, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
- Invited talk at Fysikdagarna (Physics Days) Conference, 27-29 October, Gothemborg, Sweden
- Talk at the TeV Particle Astrophysics 2016 (TeVPA 2016) Conference, 12-16 September, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
- Invited talk at the 12th Patras Workshop on Axions, WIMPs, and WISPs, 20-24 June, 2016, Jeju Island, South Korea
- Invited talk at the Workshop on Perspectives on the Extragalactic Frontier: from Astrophysics to Fundamental Physics, 2-4 May, ICTP, Trieste, Italy 

2015

- "Search for Axion-like Particle Signatures in Gamma-ray Data". Given at the Gamma Rays and Dark Matter Workshop, 7-12 Decenmber, 2016, Obergurgl, Austria.
- "Search for axion-like particles signatures in the gamma-ray spectrum of NGC 1275". Talk at the Partikeldagarna, 30 November - 1December, Uppsala, Sweden
- "Search for Axion-like Particle Signatures in the Gamma-Ray Spectrum of NGC 1275" for the Fermi-LAT collaboration. Plenary talk at the Sixth International Fermi Symposium, 9-13 November, 2015, Washington DC, USA. 
- "Search for axion-like particle signatures in the gamma-ray spectrum of NGC 1275". Talk at the 11th Patras Workshop on Axions, WIMPs, and WISPs, 22-26 June, 2015, Zaragoza, Spain.

2014

- Talk "Sensitivity of H.E.S.S. II and the Cherenkov Telescope Array to detect photon-axion-like particle oscillations in different magnetic fields at high gamma-ray opacities" at the 10th PATRAS Workshop on Axions, WIMPs and WISPs, 29 June - 4 July, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
- "Sensitivity of H.E.S.S. II and CTA to detect a reduced ɣ-ray opacity due to photon-axion- like-particle oscillations". Invited talk at the "Gamma-ray Constraints on the EBL and the IGMF" Meeting-in-a-Meeting at the 224th AAS Meeting, 1-5 June, 2014, Boston, MA, USA.
- Sensitivity of the Cherenkov Telescope Array to the Detection of Axion-like Particles". Invited talk at the SLAC Gamma-ray Blazar Workshop, 12-13 March, 2014, Stanford, CA, USA.
- "Search for Axion-like particle signatures in gamma-ray spectra". Talk at the UCLA Dark Matter 2014 Conference, 26-28 February, 2014, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

2013

- "Opacity of the Universe for VHE gamma-rays in the presence of axion-like particles". Invited talk at the workshop "What are we learning from the gamma-ray sky?", 10-12 October, 2013, Minneapolis, MN, USA
- "Impact of axion-like particles on observations with IACTs". Talk at the 2013 European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics, 18-24 June, 2013, Stockholm, Sweden.

© Copyright Manuel Meyer 2022.  Last update: October, 2022. Image credits: NASA, Scicom-Lab / DESY, Manuel Meyer

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Parts of the research presented on this page have received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 948689) and under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 843800.

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