News from the Physics Department
Windows that generate electricity
2021-03-15 – Electricity from windowpanes sounds like science fiction at first, but it is an application that is possible with organic solar cells. To better understand the active layer of organic solar cells, a team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) studied the dynamic behaviour of the active layer at MLZ.
Contactless high performance power transmission
2021-03-12 – A team led by Technical University of Munich (TUM) physicists Christoph Utschick and Prof. Rudolf Gross has succeeded in making a coil with superconducting wires capable of transmitting power in the range of more than five kilowatts contactless and with only small losses. The wide field of conceivable applications include autonomous industrial robots, medical equipment, vehicles and even aircraft.
IceCube detection of a high-energy particle proves 60-year-old theory
2021-03-10 – For the first time, a resonance at ultra-high energies predicted by the eventual Nobel laureate Sheldon Lee Glashow in 1960 was observed. The scientists of the IceCube collaboration identified a particle shower detected in the IceCube Neutrino Observatory as resulting from an interaction of a cosmic electron anti-neutrino with an atomic electron as a long-sought Glashow resonance. The result was published in Nature.
Kick-off event for the Munich Quantum Valley
2021-03-04 – Quantum computers that solve complex problems faster than any supercomputer, infrastructures for the exchange of ideas and technology transfer in the field of quantum science, as well as excellent training and professional education opportunities - these are some of the core goals that scientists will pursue in the Munich Quantum Valley in the future. Today's kick-off event marks the start of this unique initiative.
A memory without a brain
2021-02-22 – Having a memory of past events enables us to take smarter decisions about the future. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization and Technical University of Munich (TUM) identify the basis for forming memories in the slime mold Physarum polycephalum – despite its lack of a nervous system.
2021-02-10 – In our smartphones, our computers and in our electric cars: We use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries everywhere. But their capacity drops after a while. Now a German-American research team has investigated the structure and functionality of these batteries using neutron diffraction: They discovered that the electrolyte fluid’s decomposition products capture mobile lithium in the battery and that the distribution of lithium within the cell is surprisingly uneven.
Clocking the movement of electrons inside an atom
2021-01-18 – Ultrafast science is pursued at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). An international consortium of scientists, initiated by Reinhard Kienberger, Professor of Laser and X-ray Physics several years ago, has made significant measurements in the femtosecond range at the U.S. Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).
Bavaria consolidates quantum technology strengths
2021-01-11 – Quantum computers that make conventional computers look obsolete, interception-proof communication methods and fundamental elements of quantum technology are just some of the core objectives to be pursued in the future by Munich Quantum Valley scientists. Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder, Ministers Hubert Aiwanger and Bernd Sibler and leading Munich research institutes, including the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have signed a statement of intent to that effect.
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.