Faculty of Mathematics

Selected Publications

Faculty of Physics


The scientific successes achieved in recent years as part of SFB 616 ‘Energy Dissipation on Surfaces’ in one of the key research areas of the Faculty of Physics – namely solid-state physics –have led to the creation of a new collaborative research centre:

SFB 1242 ‘Non-equilibrium Dynamics of Condensed Matter in the Time Domain’

Targeted modifications of physical properties of condensed matter via external control parameters such as electrical voltage, pressure, temperature, and chemical composition give rise to diverse technological applications that shape our daily lives. Thermodynamics and their derivative concepts are generally used to understand these properties and the development of their applications. Microscopically, however, the generated change in properties often corresponds to a non-equilibrium situation, the theoretical treatment of which is sophisticated and generally requires innovative concepts that go beyond thermodynamics. With a complete understanding of the temporal development of the non-equilibrium as an ambitious goal, SFB 1242 promises innovative impulses and pioneering concepts for both science and applied purposes.

Extremely short-term external stimuli – such as light flashes, impulsive pressure changes, electrical voltage surges or partial impacts – can be used to prepare non-equilibrium states in condensed matter that cannot be achieved by means of a reversible energy supply. The system, which is strongly excited in its electronic and phononic degrees of freedom, follows a complex dynamic in both time and space with characteristic scales of time and length in the femtosecond or nanometre range proving significant. The understanding of these dynamic processes requires concepts that are based on the elementary, microscopic nature of the stimuli, take into account their mutual couplings, and therefore contain far more information than the equilibrium description of thermodynamics. Experimental access to these dynamics is achieved particularly in the time domain, which is why this collaborative research centre pursues this approach.

The primary goal of the collaborative research centre SFB 1242 ‘Non-equilibrium Dynamics of Condensed Matter in the Time Domain’ is to develop a cross-material, microscopic understanding of non-equilibrium states and their dynamics. The analysis of the stimuli in the time domain is performed in conjunction with a spatial constraint of the system under consideration (for example, in solid-state structures or molecular systems) by effectively limiting the dimensionality from three to two, one and zero dimensions. This combined approach allows direct access to the temporal correlation of the dynamics and ensures the sensitivity to a specific stimulus by means of targeted switching on and off of competing relaxation channels.

The intensive exchange of all participating scientists and the common quest for both realistic and ambitiously challenging research projects promises to bring outstanding insights, with initial publications already released, including one in the well-respected ‘Nature’ journal.

The appointment of Prof. Hendrik Härtig to the didactic team at the Faculty of Physics in the spring of 2016 promises new insights into the role of language in physics teaching and an intensification of research into the experimental abilities of pupils. This latter topic is also a focal point of the work conducted by Prof. Heike Theyßen and her research group, so there are sure to be some synergies in this regard.