Xin Wu

Space Astroparticle Physics

Picture of the International Space Station with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer installed on its main truss (right side) taken from Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-134 in its way back to ground.

High energy particles from outer space were discovered more than one hundred years ago. The studies of cosmic rays have resulted in many discoveries in particle physics, such as the discoveries of the positron, the muon, and the pion, that led to the development of the accelerator-based particle physics. Today the focus of astroparticle physics research has turned to using these particles as messengers to study the universe: How and where these particles are produced and accelerated? How they interact and propagate before reaching the Earth? What is the particle composition at different energies? Can the still elusive Dark Matter produce the high energy anomalies that have been observed in cosmic rays? A century after the discovery of cosmic rays, we are still a long way from answering these fundamental questions, because of the daunting challenge to disentangle many unknown initial and boundary conditions with only particles that reached the Earth. However, important progresses have been made with the complementary approaches of using large ground-based experiments, such as AUGER, IceCube, HESS, and space-borne missions, such as PAMELA, Fermi, AMS, and DAMPE.

AMS-02 integration at CERN: Installation of the Inner Silicon Tracker inside the Magnet Vacuum Case
AMS-02 charge identification by the Time Of Flight and the Silicon Tracker.

The Space Astroparticle Physics group at DPNC has been a leading institute in space-based astroparticle physics research for many years. The group has designed and produced major detector components for space missions at NASA (AMS-02), ESA (POLAR), and Chinese Space Agencies (DAMPE, POLAR). The group has leading roles in data analyses in these missions, in the areas of Dark Matter search, cosmic particle fluxes and ratios, Gamma-ray burst polarization, high energy gamma-ray sources, etc.

The Space Astroparticle Physics group is also actively participating in the development of future missions, including POLAR-2, HERD, PAN and eXTP.

Current group members:

  • Senior researchers: Prof. X. Wu, Dr. M. Paniccia, Dr. Ph. Azzarello
  • Postdoctoral researchers:  Dr. M. Kole, Dr. C. Perrina
  • Doctoral students: Mr. Yao Chen, Mr. Z. Liu, Mr. J. Wei, Mr. J. Wang, Mr. N. De Angelis

Past members: Prof. M. Bourquin, Prof. M. Pohl, Prof. D. Rapin, Prof. C. Leluc, Dr. V. GalloDr. R. Asfandiyarov, Dr. S. Zimmer, Ms. S. Vitillo, Ms. M. Munoz Salinas, Mr. D. Droz, Ms A. Ruina, Dr. M. Stolpovskiy

More details on DAMPE, AMS-02, POLAR,  POLAR-2, HERDeXTP and PAN activities.


Département de Physique Nucléaire et Corpusculaire | Impressum.