News from the Physics Department
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.
Molecular architectures see the light
2016-03-02 – Organic photovoltaics bear great potential for large-scale, cost-effective solar power generation. One challenge to be surmounted is the poor ordering of the thin layers on top of the electrodes. Utilizing self-assembly on atomically flat, transparent substrates, a team of scientists at Physics Department of (TUM) has engineered ordered monolayers of molecular networks with photovoltaic responses. The findings open up intriguing possibilities for the bottom-up fabrication of optoelectronic devices with molecular precision.
A tunnel through the head
2016-02-18 – Humans use the time delay between the arrival of a sound wave at each ear to discern the direction of the source. In frogs, lizards and birds the distance between the ears is too small. However, they have a cavity connecting the eardrums, in which internal and external sound waves are superimposed. Using a universal mathematical model, researchers at the Physics Department of TUM have now for the first time shown how new signals are created in this “inner ear” used by animals for localizing sounds.
Nanolaser for information technology
2016-02-11 – Physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a nanolaser, a thousand times thinner than a human hair. Thanks to an ingenious process, the nanowire lasers grow right on a silicon chip, making it possible to produce high-performance photonic components cost-effectively. This will pave the way for fast and efficient data processing with light in the future.
Superconductivity of “heavy fermions”
2016-02-01 – An international research team has discovered nonclassical superconductivity at extremely low temperatures in a compound of ytterbium, rhodium, and silicon. The project was a collaboration among physicists of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Walther Meissner Institute of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, Rice University (Houston, USA), and Renmin University (Beijing, China).
Stefan Schönert elected as a Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physics
2016-02-01 – Stefan Schönert, Professor for Experimental Astroparticle Physics at the physics department of Technical University of Munich (TUM), has been named a Max Planck Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP), where he will do research in the area of dark matter and neutrino physics. The Fellow Program of the Max Planck Society (MPG) has the goal of deepening the collaboration of the institutes with outstanding university professors.