Theoretical Physics of Neuronal Information Processing

Module PH2020

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2020 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
300 h 110 h 10 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2020 is J. Leo van Hemmen.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Grundlagen neuronaler Kommunikation (Wie funktionieren Nervenzellen? Wie kommunizieren sie? Modelle etc.)
  • Universelle Prinzipien
  • Anwendungsbeispiele für konkrete Problemstellungen aus dem Bereich Nuerobiolgie und Neurophysik (z.B. Beuteortung von Schleiereule, Wüstenskorpion und Krallenfrosch)

Learning Outcome

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Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VU 6 Theoretische Physik neuronaler Informationsverarbeitung van Hemmen, J.
Mitwirkende: Begovic, D.
Donnerstag, 14:00–16:00
Freitag, 10:00–12:00
sowie Termine in Gruppen

Learning and Teaching Methods

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  • J.L. van Hemmen, "Theorie of synaptic plasticity" in: Handbook of Biological Physics, Vol. 4 (Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2001) 771-823;
  • W. Gerstner & W.M. Kistler, Spiking Neuron Models: Single Neurons, Populations, Plasticity (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 90 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester. There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.