News from the Physics Department
Ignacio Cirac receives Max Planck Medal
2017-11-27 – Professor J. Ignacio Cirac receives the Max Planck Medal, the most prestigious German award in the field of theoretical physics. Ignacio Cirac is Director at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and head of its Theory Division. Furthermore he is honorary professor at the Physics Department of the Technical University of Munich (TUM).
Cornerstone laying for "TUM Center for Functional Protein Assemblies"
2017-10-25 – With the “TUM Center for Functional Protein Assemblies” (CPA), protein research at the Technical University of Munich now has its own address. It will bundle research into the interactions of proteins interdepartmentally. On this basis, the interdisciplinary center will develop biomedical applications, especially against diseases resulting from dysfunctions in complex biomolecular protein systems. The construction costs of around 40 million Euro will be funded on federal and state levels. The laboratory building will be built at Ernst-Otto-Fischer-Str. 8.
Two further ERC grants at the Phyik-Department
2016-12-23 – Each year, the European Research Council (ERC) bestows funding grants for a selection of research projects across the continent. For the 2016 call, two projects from the Physik-Department of TUM have been selected. The highly endowed ERC grants count among Europe’s most prestigious research funding awards. This year’s projects as “Consolidator Grant” and “Proof of Concept Grant” carry out research in the field of biophysics.
TUM and JGU activate new source of ultra-cold neutrons
2016-11-02 – Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have opened a new chapter in their long-standing collaboration concerning the generation of ultra-cold neutrons (UCN). A second source of ultra-cold neutrons has recently been installed at the TRIGA research reactor in Mainz. In initial tests, this source has been delivering excellent results.
Quasiparticles in time-lapse
2016-10-08 – When an electron moves in solid matter, it polarizes its environment. Detailed insight into the interactions between electrons and their environment is the key to better performing future electronics components. However, since these processes transpire within only a few attoseconds, in the past they were practically impossible to investigate. Using an ingenious trick, an international team of physicists was able to study the birth of a quasiparticle comprising an electron and its polarization cloud.
Dark matter: Searching for "lightweights" with CRESST
2015-09-08 – The Earth, planets, stars, and galaxies form only the visible portion of the matter in the universe. Greater by far is the share accounted for by invisible “dark matter”. Scientists have searched for the particles of dark matter in numerous experiments – so far, in vain. With the CRESST experiment, the search radius can be considerably expanded: The CRESST detectors are being overhauled and are then able to detect particles whose mass lies below the current measurement range. As a consequence, the chance of tracking dark matter down goes up.
Probing pattern formation and dynamics of nanoscale "swarms"
2015-08-25 – “Flocking” or “swarming” behavior is omnipresent in the living world, observed in birds, fish, and even bacteria. Strikingly similar collective action can also be seen in biomolecules within and between cells. Such self-organization processes are the basis of life – without them no living cell would exist – yet they are not well understood. New insights into how this action is coordinated at the biomolecular level are emerging from studies of a model system based on actin filaments. Experimental evidence proves the inadequacy of widely accepted explanations, according to collaborators at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS).
Possible Read Head for Quantum Computers
2014-12-01 – Nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds could be used to construct vital components for quantum computers. But hitherto it has been impossible to read optically written information from such systems electronically. Using a graphene layer, a team of scientists headed by Professor Alexander Holleitner of the Physics Department has now implemented just such a read unit.
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.