Petra H. Huentemeyer

Petra H. Huentemeyer


  • Director, Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI)
  • Distinguished Professor, Physics
  • PhD, Particle Physics, University of Hamburg/DESY, Germany

Research Description

Dr. Huentemeyer's background is in astrophysics and elementary particle physics. She is currently interested in the study of gamma and cosmic rays to solve the century-old puzzle of the origin of galactic cosmic rays, first detected by the Austrian-American scientist Victor Hess in 1912.

Where and how are cosmic rays produced and accelerated to their states of high energy? The study of gamma rays provides a crucial piece of the puzzle. Gamma rays are produced by cosmic ray interactions with matter and radiation fields in space, and as neutral particles they can be traced back to their origin. The high-energy processes in which they are produced can be studied by measuring their energy spectra, source morphologies, and spatial correlation of their sources with sources at other wavelengths.

Previously, Dr. Huentemeyer was a member of the OPAL collaboration at CERN and later joined the HiRes and Milagro experiments. Most recently she has been involved in the analysis of Milagro data and the design and construction of the HAWC Observatory on the Sierra Negra plateau near Puebla in Mexico.

Open Position

Our group has a summer opening for a middle/high school teacher to gain research experience in gamma ray astrophysics. Download details and application information here.


  • Gamma-Ray Emission
  • High-Energy Cosmic Rays