MaxPlanckResearch 1/2019


The power of expectations

Advertising tells us that wishes really can come true. With the right deodorant, anyone can be a cool guy. The new yogurt is guaranteed to make you slim. Paradise is waiting for you at the seaside resort. It is well known that advertisements tell fictional stories designed to arouse the expectation that the product in question is going to make us cool, slim, or feel rested and refreshed. Our author explains that the economic system as such functions in a very similar way. Stories play an equally vital role in the seemingly rational world of investors and analysts.

Physics & Astonomy

Atoms make waves
For Ragnar Fleischmann, it was a surprising discovery: in simulations depicting the flow of electrons in semiconductors, he observed behavior resembling that of tsunamis and rogue waves on the open sea. Today, his team at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Goettingen is researching electronic processes with a view to improving forecasts of destructive waves.

Biology & Medicine

A fast-paced life
Silvia Cappello’s life is all about movement: at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, she performs research into the way in which different types of neurons migrate to the correct position in the cerebral cortex, during embryonic development of the brain. In her free time, the passionate athlete rarely stands still either.

Materials & Technology

Material mix from the food processor
Valerio Molinari and his team at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam have equipped their laboratory with a pasta machine, pizza oven and mixer. What‘s more, the scientists often use waste from the forestry or food industries in their experiments. They can use these simple resources to manufacture wood-based materials, bioplastics and biofuels.

Environment & Climate

Buses on demand
It is extremely difficult to get around in rural areas without a car of your own, either due to a lack of public transport or because scheduled buses are infrequent. That is why a team led by physicist Stephan Herminghaus, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Goettingen, have developed the EcoBus, a system that lets customers order a bus directly to their front door. The special thing about it is that, unlike other on-call systems, rather than poaching customers, the EcoBus will augment existing public transport services.
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