News from the Physics Department
What even Einstein didn't know
2018-09-19 – It provides the basis for solar energy and global communications: the photoelectric effect. Albert Einstein described it over a century ago. For the first time, scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), and the TU Wien have now measured the absolute duration of the light absorption and of the resulting photoelectron which is released from a solid body.
The attosecond stopwatch
2018-06-28 – Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Closing the gap: On the road to terahertz electronics
2018-06-26 – A team headed by the TUM physicists Alexander Holleitner and Reinhard Kienberger has succeeded for the first time in generating ultrashort electric pulses on a chip using metal antennas only a few nanometers in size, then running the signals a few millimeters above the surface and reading them in again a controlled manner. The technology enables the development of new, powerful terahertz components.
Professor Reinhard Kienberger wird Universitätsrat der TU Graz
2018-03-21 – Professor Reinhard Kienberger wurde kürzlich von der östreichischen Bundesregierung zum Universitätsrat der Technischen Universität Graz bestellt.
A quadrillionth of a second in slow motion
2018-02-20 – Many chemical processes run so fast that they are only roughly understood. To clarify these processes, a team from TUM’s Physics Department has now developed a methodology with a resolution of quintillionths of a second. The new technology stands to help better understand processes like photosynthesis and develop faster computer chips.
The first zeptosecond stopwatch
2016-11-08 – When light strikes electrons in atoms, their state can change unimaginably quickly. Laser physicists in Munich have measured such a phenomenon – namely that of photoionization, in which an electron exits a helium atom after excitation by light – for the first time with zeptosecond precision. A zeptosecond is a trillionth of a billionth of a of a second (10-21 seconds). This is the greatest accuracy of time determination of an event in the microcosm ever achieved, as well as the first absolute determination of the timescale of photoionization.
A switch for light wave electronics
2016-06-02 – Light waves might be able to drive future transistors. The electromagnetic waves of light oscillate approximately one million times in a billionth of a second, hence at petahertz frequencies. In principle future electronics could reach this speed and become 100.000 times faster than current digital electronics. A team of the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) at the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich (LMU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in collaboration with theorists from the University of Tsukuba have optimized the interaction of light and glass in a way that facilitates its possible future usage for light wave driven electronics.
ERC-Grant for Reinhard Kienberger
2015-03-20 – Reinhard Kienberger, Professor at the Physics Department, receives an ERC Consolidator Grant. The European Research Council will support his project "Attosecond ELectron Dynamics in Molecular Systems (AEDMOS)" for 5 years and will spend up to 2 Million Euros on it. Thus the Physik-Department at TUM continues to be one of Europe's most successful faculties in attracting ERC funding.
Ultra-short X-ray Pulses Explore the Nano World: Characterization of X-ray flashes open new perspectives in X-ray science
2014-11-26 – Ultra-short and extremely strong X-ray flashes, as produced by free-electron lasers, are opening the door to a hitherto unknown world. Scientists are using these flashes to take “snapshots” of the geometry of tiniest structures, for example the arrangement of atoms in molecules. To improve not only spatial but also temporal resolution further requires knowledge about the precise duration and intensity of the X-ray flashes. An international team of scientists has now tackled this challenge.