Elisa Resconi appointed as full professor
Liesel Beckmann distinguished professorship for “Experimental Physics with Cosmic Particles”
2019-02-05 – News from the Physics Department
The appointment follows the transparent and successful evaluation in the frame of the TUM Faculty Recruitment and Career System. These academic evaluations are carried out in line with best international practice. They are an integral quality management element of the university’s faculty recruitment and career system. TUM Liesel Beckmann Distinguished Professors are a program of eight additional professorships for top women researchers at TUM, Honorary Fellows and members of TUM’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).
Elisa Resconi’s research covers the fields of particle physics and astrophysics. Neutrinos, the most abundant matter particles of our universe, form the central focus of her work. Cosmic neutrinos, as astrophysical messengers, open a new window onto the universe and the observation of its most energetic, hence violent, regions. They allow us to explore phenomena in cosmic accelerators and collapsing stars that would be otherwise inaccessible.
Elisa Resconi is part of the international IceCube Collaboration, which arguably operates the strangest telescope in the world: the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. It is also the world’s largest particle detector, measuring one cubic kilometer, immersed 2000 meters below the surface into the ice sheet very close to the south pole. The telescope is not looking for light, but for the most elusive particles, cosmic neutrinos. Unlike conventional telescopes it is capable of observing neutrinos from all directions at the same time, as they have the property of penetrating the earth.
Among the 44 research institutes, that jointly operate IceCube, Elisa Resconi and her team are primarily involved in data analysis. They develop the software that searches for signatures of high energy neutrinos, those that are of cosmic origin. This is an extremely demanding task, as the required results have to be filtered out of the terabytes of data, that are recorded by the telescope every day. With researchers from Canada, Russia and Europe the group is currently also involved in the planning of a global network of neutrino telescopes.
Elisa Resconi studied physics at the University of Milan, Italy. Her master thesis introduced her to the field of neutrino physics, working at the Borexino experiment at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (LNGS). After completing her PhD at the University of Genoa with experimental work on solar neutrinos studied at Borexino, she relocated to DESY, Zeuthen (Germany) on a Marie Curie Fellowship. From 2005 to 2010, she headed an Emmy Noether junior research group based at the the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics at Heidelberg, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG). In 2011 Elisa Resconi was awarded a Heisenberg professorship (DFG) at Technical University of Munich. She is a coauthor of a text book on “Cosmic Rays and Particle Physics” published by Cambridge University Press. In 2017 she was awarded the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Medal at TUM.
- Dr. Johannes Wiedersich