News from the Physics Department
Tiny works of art with great potential
2016-07-14 – Unlike classical crystals, quasicrystals do not comprise periodic units, even though they do have a superordinate structure. The formation of the fascinating mosaics that they produce is barely understood. In the context of an international collaborative effort, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now presented a methodology that allows the production of two-dimensional quasicrystals from metal organic networks, opening the door to the development of promising new materials.
Two sensors and a controller - all within a single protein molecule
2016-06-20 – Modern heating systems use an indoor and an outdoor sensor in order to efficiently achieve homely temperatures. Now a team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) discovered exactly such a dual sensor strategy realized by a protein of the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli.
Samantha Zimnik receives Laura Bassi award
2016-06-03 – Samantha Zimnik is granted with the Laura Bassi price for her outstanding scientific achievements in the field of surface physics at the positron source NEPOMUC.
A switch for light wave electronics
2016-06-02 – Light waves might be able to drive future transistors. The electromagnetic waves of light oscillate approximately one million times in a billionth of a second, hence at petahertz frequencies. In principle future electronics could reach this speed and become 100.000 times faster than current digital electronics. A team of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in collaboration with theorists from the University of Tsukuba have optimized the interaction of light and glass in a way that facilitates its possible future usage for light wave driven electronics.
Christian Pfleiderer and Peter Böni receive Europhysics prize
2016-05-30 – Experimental physicists Prof. Christian Pfleiderer and Prof. Peter Böni from the physics department of TUM are awarded the European Physical Society’s prestigious Europhysics Prize. The prize is awarded for the “discovery of a skyrmion phase in manganese silicon” and shared with three theoretical physicists: Prof. Alex Bogdanov (Dresden), Prof. Achim Rosch (Cologne) and Prof. Ashvin Vishwanath (Berkeley).
Architekturwettbewerb für zwei neue Physik-Gebäude entschieden
2016-04-27 – Auf dem Weg zu modernen Laborflächen und neuer Infrastruktur für die Lehre ist das Physik-Department einen großen Schritt vorangekommen: Der Architekturwettbewerb für den Neubau zweier Institutsgebäude ist entschieden. Zunächst wird von 2018 bis 2020 ein futuristisches Laborgebäude entstehen; anschließend soll ein Neubau für Hörsäle und Praktika folgen.
Friedrich Simmel and Franz Pfeiffer receive ERC grants
2016-04-25 – Two scientists from the physics department of TUM won out in the latest round of ERC grants. The interdisciplinary projects are at the interfaces of physics and biology and physics and medical applications, respectively. Both projects would not have been possible just a few years ago. They are ambitious in trying to carve out new scientific grounds.
Mechanics of the cell
2016-04-21 – Living cells must alter their external form actively, otherwise functions like cell division would not be possible. At the physics department of TUM the biophysicist Professor Andreas Bausch and his team have developed a synthetic cell model to investigate the fundamental principles of the underlying cellular mechanics.
Confirmation of supernova explosion in the neighborhood of our solar system
2016-04-14 – Approximately two million years ago a star exploded in a supernova close to our solar system: Its traces can still be found today in the form of an iron isotope found on the ocean floor. Now scientists at the Physics Department of TUM, together with colleagues from the USA, have found increased concentrations of this supernova-iron in lunar samples as well. They believe both discoveries to originate from the same stellar explosion.
Neutrons help to save the cultural heritage from the Iron Age
2016-04-08 – An interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists studies ways to prevent the rapid corrosion of archeological iron finds.
Sensitive quantum particles
2016-03-21 – The quantum mechanical entanglement of particles plays an important role in many technical applications. To date, however, the effect has been difficult to measure experimentally. Physicists from the Physics Department of TUM, the University of Innsbruck and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona have now developed a new protocol to detect entanglement of many-particle quantum states using established measuring methods.
Edgar-Lüscher-Seminar feiert 40. Jubiläum am Gymnasium Zwiesel
2016-03-18 – Zum 40. Mal findet in diesem Jahr das Edgar-Lüscher-Seminar statt. Zum 40. Mal treffen sich Physiklehrerinnen und Physiklehrer, um spannende Einblicke in das faszinierende Spektrum der modernen Physik zu erhalten.
5 Jahre nach Fukushima
2016-03-11 – Am 11. März 2011 ereignete sich vor Japan das Tōhoku-Erdbeben, das in Verbindung mit einem starken Tsunami in weiten Teilen der japanischen Küstenregion verheerende Schäden anrichtete. Auch das Kernkraftwerk Fukushima wurde nicht verschont: aus den Reaktorblöcken wurde radioaktives Material frei gesetzt. Wie ist die Lage heute? Dazu befragte der Deutschlandfunk Karin Hain vom Physik-Department, die in ihrer Dissertation die Kontamination des Pazifischen Ozeans untersucht.
Efficiency of water electrolysis doubled
2016-03-10 – Water electrolysis has not yet established itself as a method for the production of hydrogen. Too much energy is lost in the process. With a trick researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Ruhr University Bochum and Leiden University have now doubled the efficiency of the reaction.
Nanoscale rotor and gripper push DNA origami to new limits
2016-03-04 – Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have built two new nanoscale machines with moving parts, using DNA as a programmable, self-assembling construction material. In the journal Science Advances, they describe a rotor mechanism formed from interlocking 3-D DNA components. Another recent paper, in Nature Nanotechnology, reported a hinged molecular manipulator, also made from DNA. These are just the latest steps in a campaign to transform so-called “DNA origami” into an industrially useful, commercially viable technology.
Alcohol tunes the switching behavior of responsive polymers
2016-03-02 – Time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering offers a novel method to relate the switching behavior of responsive polymers in aqueous solution to their binding energy and to the molecular structure of the solvent. Added alcohol significantly alters the switching kinetics. The new approach may be applicable to a number of systems and could be used to control molecular aggregation of responsive macromolecules – and thus tune the transport and release of molecules, for instance.