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Christoph Pfrommer

Currently, I am leading the research section Cosmology and High-energy Astrophysics at the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) and pursue research as a jointly appointed professor at the University of Potsdam.

In 2016 the European Research Council awarded us an ERC Consolidator Grant (CRAGSMAN) addressing The Impact of Cosmic Rays on Galaxy and Cluster Formation, immediately followed by an ERC Advanced Grant (PICOGAL) with the title Mind the Gap: from Plasma Kinetics to Cosmological Galaxy Formation, which successfully started in 2022. In 2021 the group became partner of the DFG funded research unit on Relativistic Jets in Active Galaxies (FOR 5195), which also started in 2022.

Our research activities are concentrated on theoretical astrophysics on scales from plasma physics up to the largest cosmological scales with the goal to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies and galaxy clusters. In particular, using high-performance computational simulations, we study the acceleration of cosmic rays at powerful shocks, their transport in the magnetized plasma of galaxies and clusters, their ability to feed back on the structure of these systems and the associated non-thermal emission ranging from the radio to the gamma-ray regime.

Research interests
  • Cosmology. Formation and evolution of galaxies, galaxy clusters, and large-scale structure in the Universe; interstellar, circum- and intergalactic medium and intercluster medium; physics of galactic feedback processes via galactic winds and jets in supermassive black holes.

  • Plasma- and High-Energy Astrophysics. Cosmic ray acceleration and transport, magnetic fields: dynamo growth and saturation, plasma instabilities, radiative processes in galaxies and galaxy clusters; radio and gamma-ray astrophysics; propagation of relativistic gamma rays from blazars and pair creation; dark matter theory and indirect detection.

  • Computational Astrophysics. Code development and high-performance computing with the unstructured moving mesh magneto-hydrodynamics code AREPO, the particle-in-cell (PIC) plasma code SHARP and the extended fluid-PIC code version with a Landau closure.