Short Biography

Kai Hencken, born in Hamburg in 1965, received his diploma in physics from the university of Basel in 1990 and his Ph.D. in theoretical physics also from the university of Basel in 1994 for his thesis on "Electromagnetic Production of Electron Positron Pairs in Relativistic Heavy Ion Collisions." He worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the "Institute for Nuclear Theory" at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA from 1995 to 1997. He returned to the university of Basel, where he received his Venia Docendi in 2000 for his work on electromagnetic and diffractive processes in high energy nuclear collisions. Since then he is a lecturer in theoretical physics at the department of physics.

He joined the Corporate Research Center of ABB in Baden-Dättwil in 2005, where he is currently a principal scientist in the theoretical physics group working on physical and statistical modeling for industrial applications. He was a member of the board of the Swiss Physical Society from 2009 until 2015 as head of the section on "physics in industry".


Research Summary

Until 2005: work on electromagnetic processes in particle and nuclear physics, especially on "ultraperipheral heavy ion collisions" in connection with RHIC (Brookhaven) and LHC (CERN) and Coulomb excitation and nuclear reactions with rare isotopes (MSU, GSI).

Since 2005: work on physical and statistical modeling on different topics for industrial applications. Sensor physics for industrial systems, plasma physics with a focus on electrical arcs. Particle and Monte Carlo simulations. Application of Bayesian Statistics, data analytics and inverse problems.

Kai Hencken has published more than 70 journal articles, a number of review and overview articles and contributed to proposals for CERN and GSI experiments. He holds more than 15 patents.


Selected Publications

  • Gerhard Baur, Kai Hencken, and Dirk Trautmann, Electron–positron pair production in ultrarelativistic heavy ion collisions, Physics Reports 453, 1 (2007).
  • Gerhard Baur, Kai Hencken, Dirk Trautmann, Electromagnetic dissociation as a tool for nuclear structure and astrophysics, Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics 51, 487 (2003).
  • Gerhard Baur, Kai Hencken, Andreas Aste, Dirk Trautmann, and Spencer R Klein, Multi-photon exchange processes in ultraperipheral relativistic heavy-ion collisions, Nuclear Physics A729, 787 (2003).
  • Gerhard Baur, Kai Hencken, Dirk Trautmann, Serguei Sadovsky, and Yuri Kharlov, Coherent gamma gamma and gamma-A interactions in very peripheral collisions at relativistic ion colliders, Physics Reports 364, 359 (2002).
  • Gerhard Baur, Kai Hencken, and Dirk Trautmann, Photon-photon physics in very peripheral collisions of relativistic heavy ions, Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics 24, 1657 (1998).
  • Georg Bertsch, Kai Hencken, and Henning Esbensen, Nuclear breakup of Borromean nuclei, Physical Review C57, 1366 (1998).
  • Kai Hencken, Georg Bertsch, and Henning Esbensen, Breakup reactions of the halo nuclei Be 11 and B 8, Physical Review C54, 3043 (1996).