Internship Project

Molecular Effects Entering the Analysis of the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino-Mass Experiment (KATRIN)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 
Department of Physics
Subject Area
Theoretical Physics (Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics)
06 May - 26 July
20 May - 09 August
03 June - 23 August
01 July - 20 September
Internship Modality:
On-site internship in Berlin

The application is closed, and all positions have been filled.
Applications for 2025 will open in October 2024.
Project Supervisor(s)
Prof. Dr. Alejandro Saenz (
Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from second year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
Further Information
Project Type
Academic Research
Project Content
Although neutrinos are the most abundant known massive elementary particles in the universe, many of their fundamental properties are still unknown. Among those unknowns is the rest mass of neutrinos. Very recently, an improved upper limit on the neutrino mass from a direct kinematic method has been determined by the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino-Mass (KATRIN) collaboration [Phys. Rev. Lett. 123, 221802 (2019): Nature Physics 18, 160 (2022)].
In this experiment, the energy distribution of the electrons emitted in the nuclear β decay of tritium molecules is measured in a gigantic spectrometer with a length of about 70 meters. The extraction of the neutrino mass from the measured data requires, however, input from theoretical molecular physics that is provided by our research group that is thus one of the members of the KATRIN collaboration. Within this project one of the molecular effects directly relevant for KATRIN should be studied theoretically in order to directly support the experiment and its analysis.
Tasks for Interns
The student will be introduced into the underlying physics and the use of computer codes developed in our research group that they will learn to apply within an on-going research project. Depending on qualification and interest, the student may also write a small new code or extend an existing code.
Academic Level
Advanced undergraduate students (from second year) 
Master's students 
Ph.D. students 
The student should 
  • be highly motivated,
  • be interested in theoretical physics,
  • possess a solid background in quantum physics, minimally on the level that is usually achieved within a study curriculum of a bachelor of physics.

Some previous experience in computer coding is helpful, but not required.
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For more information on the Humboldt Internship Program or the project, please contact the program coordinator.