Prof. Dr. Hannah Elfner (Petersen)

Research Area: Theoretical Physics
Focuses: Heavy Ion Physics, Nuclear Physics

Research Group


Office: 3|29 (GSC)
Phone: +49 69 798 47652


Prof. Dr. Hannah Elfner (Petersen)

Theoretical Physics

"To understand the smallest building blocks of matter and their properties fascinates me and I enjoy the required international collaboration in this field."


Prof. Dr. Hannah Elfner, née Petersen on October 12, 1982 in Frankfurt am Main, studied physics at the Goethe University Frankfurt and subsequently obtained her doctorate in physics from 2006 to 2009 at the Goethe University in cooperation with the Helmholtz Research School on Quark Matter Studies. After completing her dissertation, which was honored as the best in her field, Hannah Elfner worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Helmholtz International Center for FAIR before spending a year as a Feodor-Lynen Fellow at the Department of Physics at Duke University, USA. From 2011-2012 she also worked there as Visiting Assistant Professor before returning to Germany to lead a Helmholtz Young Investigators Group at GSI and FIAS. Since 2013 she is a FIAS Fellow and, in addition, holds a W2 Professorship at the Goethe University Frankfurt since 2013. Since 2018 she also heads the group Transport and Experimental Simulations at GSI.



2013 - today Fellow

2012 - 2018 Helmholtz junior research group

Further organisations

2018 - today Head of transport and experiment simulations at GSI

2013 - today W2 professorship at the Goethe University

2012 - 2018 Helmholtz junior research group at the GSI

2011 - 2012 Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Duke University

2010 - 2011 Feodor-Lynen Fellow, Department of Physics, Duke University

Honours and Awards

  • Zimanyi Medal Recipient at Quark Matter (2018)
  • Heinz-Maier-Leibnitz-Preis by DFG (2016)
  • Feodor-Lynen-Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2010)
  • Prize for the best interdisciplinary dissertation awarded by GRADE (2010)
  • Gernot and Carin Frank Prize for the best dissertation in physics at the Goethe University Frankfurt (2010)
  • Michael Loulakis Prize for the best diploma thesis (2007)
  • PhD student grant from the Deutsche Telekom Foundation (2006)