News from the Physics Department
More accurate than expected
2019-09-16 – Because of their extremely small mass, neutrinos play a key role in cosmology and particle physics. After evaluation of the first measurement results in the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), it is now clear: The previously unknown mass of the neutrinos must be less than 1 electron volt. This result is more accurate than previous measurements and raises hopes of discovering new neutrino properties.
How fast is our Universe expanding?
2019-09-12 – The expansion rate of the Universe today is described by the so-called Hubble constant and different techniques have come to inconsistent results about how fast our Universe actually does expand. An international team including Max Planck@TUM professor Sherry Suyu has now used two gravitational lenses as tools to calibrate the distances to hundreds of observed supernovae and thus measure a fairly high value for the Hubble constant. While the uncertainty is still relatively large, this is higher than that inferred from the cosmic microwave background.
David Egger appointed as professor for Theory of Functional Energy Materials
2019-09-06 – Prof. Dr. David Egger joins TUM’s Physics Department with the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation. His research field in theoretical physics is focused on energy materials that drive devices for energy conversion and storage such as solar cells and batteries.
Closing in on elusive particles
2019-09-05 – Why is there so much more matter than antimatter in the universe? To proof the conjecture that matter can be created without balancing antimatter, the GERDA experiment in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory is the first to have now reached a sensitivity for the half-life beyond 1026 years, 10 000 000 000 000 000 times the age of the Universe. To further maximize the discovery potential, an international collaboration is preparing for LEGEND, a next generation neutrinoless double beta decay experiment whose spokesperson is Prof. Stefan Schönert of TUM.
EU funding for top-level research
2019-09-04 – The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that seven of its prestigious ERC Starting Grants will be awarded to scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) this year, three of those to researchers at the Physics Department.
Temperatures of 800 billion degrees in the cosmic kitchen
2019-08-23 – It is among the most spectacular events in the universe: a merger of neutron stars. An international team of researchers with strong representation from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has completed the first laboratory measurements of thermal electromagnetic radiation arising in such collisions. The resulting data enabled them to calculate the prevailing temperature when such stars merge.
Stardust in the Antarctic snow
2019-08-22 – The rare isotope iron-60 is created in massive stellar explosions. Only a very small amount of this isotope reaches the earth from distant stars. Now, a research team with significant involvement from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered iron-60 in Antarctic snow for the first time. The scientists suggest that the iron isotope comes from the interstellar neighborhood.
Light in the nanoworld
2019-08-01 – An international team headed up by Alexander Holleitner and Jonathan Finley, physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has succeeded in placing light sources in atomically thin material layers with an accuracy of just a few nanometers. The new method allows for a multitude of applications in quantum technologies, from quantum sensors and transistors in smartphones through to new encryption technologies for data transmission.
The physiology of survival
2019-07-22 – Bacteria do not simply perish in hunger phases fortuitously; rather, the surrounding cells have a say as well. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered that two factors, above all, decide over life and death: the energy required to continue living and the efficiency with which surviving cells can recycle biomass from dead cells.
What is the perfect quantum theory?
2019-07-12 – For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
2019-07-09 – With a new spray coating process, very uniform layers of cellulose nanofibers (CNF) can be produced on an industrial scale. X-ray investigations at DESY as well as investigations with an atomic force microscope and neutron scattering at the MLZ, show how the layer is structured and can be tailored for different purposes. A Swedish-German research team led by DESY scientist Adj. Prof. Dr. Stephan Roth presents its structural analyses in the journal Macromolecules .
Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled
2019-07-03 – An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.
Talk: "Quantum technology: 100 million € for Garching
2019-07-02 – Quantencomputer, die mehr leisten als unsere heutigen Supercomputer, abhörsichere Quantenkommunikation, hochempfindliche Quantensensoren: Grundlage für diese faszinierenden Anwendungsfelder sind die „Quantentechnologien 2.0“ – und Garching soll durch Investitionen von mehr als 100 Mio. Euro ein international führendes Zentrum für diese wichtigen Zukunftstechnologien werden.
Immortal quantum particles
2019-06-27 – Decay is relentless in the macroscopic world: broken objects do not fit themselves back together again. However, other laws are valid in the quantum world: new research shows that so-called quasiparticles can decay and reorganize themselves again and are thus become virtually immortal. These are good prospects for the development of durable data memories.
Cooling for quantum electronics
2019-06-12 – The start-up kiutra is the first company in the world to have succeeded in developing a permanent magnetic cooling system to reach temperatures close to absolute zero. Such temperatures are, for example, required for the operation of quantum computers. The system was set up by a team of researchers from the Physics Department at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
Exceptions become the rule
2019-05-02 – Electrons and their atomic nuclei influence their respective motions in more materials than previously assumed. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Forschungszentrum Jülich made this discovery during measurements conducted at TUM’s research neutron source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II). Possible applications for the effect they identified include data processing and zero-loss transmission of electricity.