News from the Physics Department
Information transport via magnons
2020-12-28 – A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has discovered an exciting method for controlling spin carried by quantized spin wave excitations in antiferromagnetic insulators.
Breakthrough in nuclear physics
2020-12-14 – The positively charged protons in atomic nuclei should actually repel each other, and yet even heavy nuclei with many protons and neutrons stick together. The so-called strong interaction is responsible for this. Prof. Laura Fabbietti and her research group at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed a method to precisely measure the strong interaction utilizing particle collisions in the ALICE experiment at CERN in Geneva.
Sun model completely confirmed for the first time
2020-11-26 – The Borexino experiment research team has succeeded in detecting neutrinos from the sun's second fusion process, the Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen cycle (CNO cycle) for the first time. This means that all of the theoretical predictions on how energy is generated within the sun have now also been experimentally verified. The findings are the result of years of efforts devoted to bringing the background sources in the energy range of the CNO neutrinos under control.
Smart bottle brushes
2020-10-29 – They look like microscopic bottle brushes: Polymers with a backbone and tufts of side arms. This molecular design gives them unusual abilities: For example, they can bind active agents and release them again when the temperature changes. With the help of neutrons, a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now succeeded to unveil the changes in the internal structure in course of the process.
Stellar explosion in Earth’s proximity
2020-10-05 – When the brightness of the star Betelgeuse dropped dramatically a few months ago, some observers suspected an impending supernova – a stellar explosion that could also cause damage on Earth. While Betelgeuse has returned to normal, physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have found evidence of a supernova that exploded near the Earth around 2.5 million years ago.
The Return of the Spin Echo
2020-10-01 – A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), TU Wien (Vienna University of Technology) and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities have discovered a remarkable echo effect – this effect presents exciting, new opportunities for working with quantum information.
ERC supports pioneering research projects
2020-09-25 – Physical principles behind the memory of biological tubular flow networks like our bloodstream, new approaches for the search of dark matter, and the allosteric communication network of proteins - these are three future-oriented research projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC) at the Physics Department of TUM.
Revealing the secrets of high-energy cosmic particles
2020-09-10 – The “IceCube” neutrino observatory deep in the ice of the South Pole has already brought spectacular new insights into cosmic incidents of extremely high energies. In order to investigate the cosmic origins of elementary particles with even higher energies, Prof. Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now started an international initiative to build a neutrino telescope several cubic kilometers in size in the northeastern Pacific.
New solar cells for space
2020-09-09 – Almost all satellites are powered by solar cells - but solar cells are heavy. While conventional high-performance cells reach up to three watts of electricity per gram, perovskite and organic hybrid cells could provide up to ten times that amount. A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has now tested this type of cell in space for the first time.
Grow faster, die sooner
2020-08-06 – Bacteria are survival artists: When they get nutrition, they multiply rapidly, albeit they can also survive periods of hunger. But, when they grow too quickly, their ability to survive is hampered, as studies by a research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) on E. coli bacteria show. The results could help increase the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Holy cow! Sherry Suyu to receive 2021 Berkeley Prize
2020-07-30 – Sherry H. Suyu, Professor of Observational Cosmology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), will receive the 2021 Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy. Bestowed annually since 2011 by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust, the Berkeley prize includes a monetary award and an invitation to give the closing plenary lecture at the AAS winter meeting, the “Super Bowl of Astronomy.” The 237th AAS meeting will be held virtually from 11 to 15 January 2021.
Fighting viral infections with engulfing nano-shells
2020-07-22 – Instead of targeting virus-specific proteins or enzymes by small molecules as done by current antivirals, researchers of the EU-funded VIROFIGHT project will develop nano-shells that are supposed to engulf and neutralize entire viruses. This novel approach has the potential to help fight multiple diseases caused by viruses such as COVID-19, HIV infection, influenza, and Hepatitis B with one and the same approach.
A quantum computer builder
2020-06-30 – Stefan Filipp has been appointed as chair for Technical Physics at the Physics Department of the Technical University of Munich and as director at the Walther Meißner Institute of the Bavarian Academy of Science and Humanities.
The Master’s program “Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics” has started in digital form
2020-06-26 – Prof. Julia Herzen is the speaker of the study program for the new Master’s program “Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics”. In an interview she talks about how studying digitally works in the times of the Corona pandemic and points out some opportunities and pitfalls.
Anti-nuclei studies at ALICE
2020-05-28 – Since anti-matter could be interpreted as a dark matter annihilation signal, satellite and balloon experiments are currently hunting for dark matter particles near Earth. But anti-matter could also be produced by interactions of high-energy cosmic rays with the interstellar medium. To better understand the production mechanism and the annihilation of anti-matter, the ALICE collaboration has conducted a comprehensive study of the yield of anti-matter resulting from proton-proton collisions and evaluated for the first time the cross section of anti-deuteron at low energies.
Mourning for pioneer of ultracold neutrons
2020-05-26 – He never liked to be the centre of attention and yet everything revolves around him one last time: Prof. Dr. Albert Steyerl, the inventor of the neutron turbine, died on 2 May at the age of 81.