Max Planck Institutes and Experts

There is no such thing as "the" Max Planck Institute. In fact, the Max Planck Society operates a number of research institutions in Germany as well as abroad. These Max Planck Institutes are independent and autonomous in the selection and conduct of their research pursuits. To this end, they have their own, internally managed budgets, which can be supplemented by third party project funds. The quality of the research carried out at the institutes must meet the Max Planck Society's excellence criteria. To ensure that this is the case, the institutes' research activities undergo regular quality reviews.

The Max Planck Institutes carry out basic research in the life sciences, natural sciences and the social and human sciences. It is thus almost impossible to allocate an individual institute to one single research field: conversely, it can be the case that different Max Planck Institutes carry out research in the same subject.
  • Superconductors at very low temperatures show the remarkable property of being able to conduct electrical current without any resistance. However, the use of these materials in everyday life applications is severely limited by the need for cooling to at least minus 70 degrees Celsius. In carbon-based molecules, irradiation with intense mid-infrared laser light has now enabled to induce a short-lived transient superconducting state at higher temperatures. The knowledge gained might help in the development of materials that become superconducting at significantly higher temperatures. more
  • How light changes matter: from a laser to a few photons

    2016 Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter Ruggenthaler, Michael; Hübener, Hannes; Sentef, Michael A.; Appel, Heiko; Rubio, Angel
    The properties of matter, e.g., the conductivity, can be tailored with light. This can be done with a lot of photons that are part of a laser beam, or in certain cases only a few photons are enough. In the theory department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, researchers use both extreme cases to investigate novel states of matter: a laser allows theoretically generating hitherto unobserved states of matter and via a few photons chemical reactions can be altered. more
  • Molecular movie from Hamburg

    2016 Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter Hayes, Stuart; Manz, Stephanie; Bücker, Robert; Kassier, Günther; Miller, R.J. Dwayne.
    Many processes in the chemistry of life take place on ultrashort length and time scales. Their observation thus lies beyond the capabilities of optical microscopes. The investigation of such processes using novel electron sources in many cases presents a cost-saving alternative to X-ray studies using synchrotron radiation sources and free-electron lasers. Also the development of methods for the preparation of liquid samples is essential for the study of many organic materials. more
  • Superconductors carry an electric current without resistance only at low temperatures. Now, for the first time, scientists have turned a ceramic crystal into a superconductor even at room temperature, using an ultrashort mid-infrared flash of light. The superconducting state survived only for a couple of picoseconds (millionth of a microsecond), and the researchers found that this light-induced state is based on certain distortions of the material’s crystal lattice. These findings may aid the quest for higher temperature superconductors and pave the way for novel applications. more
  • In our research work we focused on novel labeling methods using (3+2) cycloadditions. Our main goal was to synthesize radiofluorinated 1,3-dipoles, which easily react with double and triple bonds. A second aim was to develop a simple method for the preparation of radiolabeled β-lactams. Furthermore 1,2-didehydrobenzene was used in association with the novel 1,3-dipoles to produce 18F-labeled homo- and heterocycles, which are difficult to prepare via conventional procedures. These approaches extend the spectrum of accessible radiolabeled probes and enable access to novel intelligent PET probes. more
  • Residential broadband ISPs like DSL & cable are being used by hundreds of millions of people to access the Internet. Today, ISPs are deploying firewalls and traffic shapers to manipulate the performance of user traffic. Most ISPs do not reveal the details of their networks to their customers, preventing them from making an informed choice of their ISP. The goal of our Glasnost project is to make access networks more transparent to their customers. To date, more than a hundred thousand users world-wide used Glasnost to test if their ISPs are interfering with their peer-to-peer traffic. more
  • The Web has become a vast repository of information and knowledge about a wide range of topics and real-world events. There are a growing number of sites, ranging from question answering sites and online communities to microblogs, where knowledge is crowdsourced and it also the crowd who curates the contributed knowledge.  These sites also contain an ever-growing number of unverified stories of questionable origin. There is a growing need for computational methods to understand, predict and enhance the creation, consumption and dissemination of trustworthy knowledge. more
  • Social computing systems refer to an emerging class of societal-scale human-computer systems. Examples include social networking sites like Facebook and Google Plus, blogging and microblogging sites like Twitter and LiveJournal, anonymous social media sites like Whisper and 4chan, content sharing sites like YouTube and Instagram, social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Pinterest, crowdsourced opinion sites like Yelp and eBay seller ratings, and social peer production sites like Wikipedia and Amazon's Mechanical Turk. more
  • Computers permeate all modern technologies: they monitor, they control, they decide. If everything goes as planned, they keep cars on the road and unmanned aerial vehicles in the air. But what happens if something goes wrong? What if the ever-present computers, so called cyber-physical systems, are erroneous? To ensure that future technologies remain safe and trustworthy despite the pervasive use of embedded computers, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems develop the foundations for provably correct cyber-physical systems. more
  • JavaScript is a programming language interpreted by all major web browsers. Owing to its widespread use, rich interfaces and somewhat lax protections, JavaScript is often exploited for attacks that breach the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data in the browser - passwords, credit card numbers, cookies, etc. We report recent work on protecting JavaScript with information flow analysis, a technique that tracks data as it flows through an executing program. Our implementation is backed by a theoretical model and incurs only moderate performance overhead. more
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