News from the Physics Department
Caging of molecules allows investigation of equilibrium thermodynamics
2015-02-26 – High performance materials for gas storage, thermal insulators or nanomachines need a thorough understanding of the behavior of the material down to the molecular level. Thermodynamics, which have been developed two hundred years ago to increase the efficiency of steam engines, typically observes and averages over a large number of molecules. Now a team of scientists has developed a methodology, to investigate the equilibrium thermodynamics of single molecules.
New result for the polarizability of pions supports standard model
2015-02-10 – Nuclear particles called pions contribute significantly to the strong interaction. This force is responsible for binding nuclei together and accounts for most of the mass of the visible matter surrounding us. Now, for the first time, physicists have succeeded in precisely determining the deformability of pions. The result, to which researchers from the Technische Universität München (TUM) contributed considerably, is in close agreement with the theoretical predictions. It also revises earlier measurements that were incompatible with the standard model of physics.
New study confirms the presence of dark matter in the inner part of the Milky Way
2015-02-09 – The Universe is pervaded by a mysterious form of matter, dubbed dark matter, about five times more abundant than the ordinary matter – made of atoms – we are familiar with. Its existence in galaxies was robustly established in the 1970s. Scientists now obtained for the first time a direct observational proof of the presence of dark matter in the innermost part our Galaxy, the Milky Way.
Internationales Symposium zur Röntgen-Phasenkontrast-Bildgebung
2015-02-09 – Insgesamt 120 Physiker, Mediziner und Vertreter der Industrie aus aller Welt trafen sich vom 29.-30.01.2015 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen zum vierten „International Symposium on Biomedical Applications of Phase Contrast Imaging, IMXP“, einem interdisziplinären Symposium zur Phasenkontrast-Bildgebung mit Röntgenstrahlen. Hauptthema waren Fortschritte in der Technologieentwicklung und Bildverarbeitung, sowie neue Entwicklungen in der biomedizinischen Anwendung.
Unexpected findings on the production of elements
2015-01-27 – Elements of cosmic origin on the floor of the Pacific Ocean provide new insights into supernova explosions. An international research team with participation of the Physics Department at Technische Universität München has analysed a deep-sea manganese crust on their content of particularly heavy elements thought to be from supernovae. It was found that the amount is much lower than expected. The researchers therefore assume that the heavy elements found may not be formed in standard supernovae.
Franz Pfeiffer appointed as Carl von Linde Senior Fellows at IAS
2015-01-23 – TUM's Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) awards one of its Carl von Linde Senior Fellowships to Professor Franz Pfeiffer. Pfeiffer will use the Fellowship to develop a novel prototype for X-ray computed tomography (CT): the up-scaling of recent advances in dark-field X-ray imaging from in-vivo studies on small animals to first clinical studies for human diagnostics. The novel techniques promise X-ray tomography with unprecedented detail and thus may greatly enhance early detection and screening of important diseases, including lung emphysema or cancer.
Electrons on a rapid journey through a crystal lattice
2015-01-14 – How fast do electrons whiz through the atomic layers of a crystal lattice? A team of scientists led by researchers from the Technische Universität München (TUM) joined by colleagues from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the Ludwig- Maximilians-Universität Munich and the Technical University of Vienna has now investigatigated this fundamental question. The researchers measured the time electrons needed to travel through a film consisting of a few layers a of magnesium atoms.
How long do antiparticles live in gummy bears?
2015-01-07 – Gelatin is used in the pharmaceutical industry to encapsulate active agents. It protects against oxidation and overly quick release. Tiny pores in the material have a significant influence on this, yet they are difficult to investigate. In experiments on gummy bears, researchers at Physik-Department of TUM have now transferred a methodology to determine the free volume of gelatin preparations.
Borexino results among top-10 breakthroughs of the year
2014-12-19 – The magazine “Physics World” has named the Borexino results on neutrinos from the sun as one of the ten breakthroughs of the year 2014 in physics. The Borexino collaboration has for the first time detected neutrinos from the main nuclear reaction that powers the sun. The experiment is installed at the Italian Gran Sasso underground laboratory with a large involment of physicists from the Physik-Department at Technische Universität München (TUM). One of its co-initiators is TUM professor emeritus Franz von Feilitzsch.
Gaede Prize 2015 for Dr. Wilhelm Auwärter
2014-12-11 – The "Deutsche Vakuumgesellschaft" awards physicist from TUM.
Biophysicist Hendrik Dietz (36) awarded top German research award
2014-12-10 – Prof. Dr. Hendrik Dietz from the Technische Universität München (TUM) has been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). The 36-year-old biophysicist is thus the recipient of Germany’s most prestigious research award, which is endowed with 2.5 million euros. Hendrik Dietz is being honored for his internationally-renowned work in the field of bionanotechnology. His research into the mechanical and structural properties of proteins has opened up completely new horizons for the development of DNA-based “nanomachines”.
Possible Read Head for Quantum Computers: Graphene layer reads optical information from nanodiamonds electronically
2014-12-01 – Nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds could be used to construct vital components for quantum computers. But hitherto it has been impossible to read optically written information from such systems electronically. Using a graphene layer, a team of scientists headed by Professor Alexander Holleitner of the Physics Department has now implemented just such a read unit.
Ultra-short X-ray Pulses Explore the Nano World: Characterization of X-ray flashes open new perspectives in X-ray science
2014-11-26 – Ultra-short and extremely strong X-ray flashes, as produced by free-electron lasers, are opening the door to a hitherto unknown world. Scientists are using these flashes to take “snapshots” of the geometry of tiniest structures, for example the arrangement of atoms in molecules. To improve not only spatial but also temporal resolution further requires knowledge about the precise duration and intensity of the X-ray flashes. An international team of scientists has now tackled this challenge.
Wolfram-Prandl-Prize for Marc Janoschek
2014-09-23 – On 23 September 2014 Dr. Marc Janoschek has received the Wolfram-Prandl-Prize 2014 of the "Komitee für Forschung mit Neutronen" during the "German Conference for Research with Synchrotron Radiation, Neutrons and Ion Beams at Large Facilities". The prize is awarded every two years to outstanding young scientists and includes a cash prize of 2500 €.
Reopening of the Branch Library Physics
2014-09-19 – Ab heute, Freitag den 19. September 2014 ist die Teilbibliothek Physik wieder am alten Standort geöffnet. Die neuen Öffnungszeiten sind: Mo -- Fr, 9.00 -- 24.00 Uhr.
Movable cytoskeleton membrane fabricated for first time
2014-09-04 – Using only a few ingredients, the biophysicist Prof. Andreas Bausch and his team at the Physik-Department of TUM have successfully implemented a minimalistic model of the cell that can change its shape and move on its own. They describe how they turned this goal into reality in the current edition of the academic journal Science, where their research is featured as cover story.