I read Physics in the early 1980s at the Technische Universität München (TU Munich). My fascination for particle physics, especially electroweak unification and neutrino physics, led me to join the group of Rudolf Mössbauer (Nobel prize 1961). For my diplom thesis (1985; similar to a 1 year M.Phys. project) I suggested research on novel superconducting detectors for neutrino physics. I continued this cryogenic detector development during graduate studies (Dr. rer. nat. 1989) and expanded it to include applications in x-ray astronomy. In 1990 I had two attractive job offers at research laboratories in the US but decided to stay in Munich, where I was Mössbauer's Wissenschaftlicher Assistent until 1996. I moved to Oxford in 1996 and established a research group focusing on the application of cryogenic detectors to problems in particle and astroparticle physics, dark matter in particular. In 1998 I was awarded the degree of Dr. habil. by the TU Munich.
Research and Teaching
My research focus is astroparticle physics, and the detection of dark matter in particular. I am a member of the LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) collaboration. LZ will have a large liquid xenon time projection chamber at its centre and will be installed in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in South Dakota.
My areas of expertise in undergraduate tutorial teaching are nuclear physics, particle physics, cosmology, general relativity, electromagnetism, optics, special relativity, classical mechanics and data analysis. I am also the Head of Teaching in the Department of Physics. In graduate teaching I give the statistics and data analysis lecture, which includes a short course in object-oriented programming (C++). My further interests are: electronics, both low-noise analogue and digital, detectors, software development for data acquisition and analysis.