News from the Physics Department
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.
New x-ray method for Corona diagnosis ready for patient testing
2020-05-08 – Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed an innovative x-ray method for lung diagnostics, which they now plan to test in one of its first applications for diagnosis of the respiratory ailment Covid-19 caused by Coronavirus. The method could clearly identify abnormalities typical of the illness and involves a significantly lower radiation dose than the computed tomography methods currently in use. Last week, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) issued the approval necessary for the tests.
Encryption system for a secure contact tracing app
2020-04-27 – In the fight against Covid-19, an interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a model for a contact tracing app that protects personal data. The concept is based on an encryption process that prevents the temporary contact numbers (TCNs) of infected individuals from ending up on the phones of their contacts. A prototype is now undergoing testing in cooperation with the ITO Open Source Consortium. The app has also successfully completed the Bluetooth Special Interest Group qualification process.
A new lightsource for the chip industry
2020-04-09 – For the past 50 years, researchers around the globe have been looking for a way to make lasers with silicon or germanium. A team from the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now succeeded in developing a light-emitting, silicon-germanium alloy. As a result, the development of a silicon laser capable of integration into today's chips is within reach for the first time.
Vortex around frozen magnets
2020-03-19 – Water freezes at sub-zero temperatures, by forming small islands of ice germs first. Magnetic structures, so-called skyrmions, behave very similarly, as scientists have discovered with the help of neutrons for the first time at the Physics Department and the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ).
Ranking by subject: TUM among the world's best universities in physics
2020-03-04 – The Technical University of Munich (TUM) ranks among the world’s best 50 universities in 11 subjects and in five subjects is among the top 25. The physics department pushes TUM as best German university to global rank 17 in “Physics & Astronomy”. These are some of the results of the latest “QS World University Rankings by Subject”.
Lane change in the cytoskeleton
2020-02-18 – Many amphibians and fish are able to change their color in order to better adapt to their environment. Munich-based scientists have now investigated the molecular mechanisms in the cytoskeleton necessary for this and revealed potential evolutionary paths.
Precise monitoring of the lung
2020-01-31 – Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have presented a combination of imaging techniques that allow real-time monitoring of the delivery of inhaled drugs within the lungs of mice and their absorption in the lung tissue. The results are intended to guide the development of high-efficacy drugs with fewer side effects for treating human lung diseases. The Munich Compact Light Source (MuCLS), a unique, compact particle accelerator that generates high-brilliance X-rays, was used to make the measurements. The researchers reported their results in the journal SMALL.