Yearbook 2009

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How can cross-border economic transactions be regulated in order to shield societies from their negative effects? This has become an urgent issue in the wake of the financial crisis, which many commentators have attributed to a combination of too little government regulation and too much self-regulation in the private sector. The Research Group on Institution Building across Borders at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies is exploring the conditions that precede effective transnational regulation. more
Online advertising is a major economic force in the Internet today. Current deployments, however, ignore data privacy issues. Max Planck Institute for Software Systems is working on a distributed online advertising system called Privad. Privad ensures data privacy while still being economically viable for the parties involved in online advertising. We have implemented a prototype of Privad and deployed it on a small scale. In the next step we are working towards a large-scale live experiment. more

Sunrise – a solar observatory in the stratosphere

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Barthol, Peter; Gandorfer, Achim; Schüssler, Manfred; Solanki, Sami K.
The biggest telescope that ever left the surface of the Earth took off in June 2009 from the European space base ESRANGE near Kiruna (Northern Sweden). Lifted by a helium-filled balloon of 130 meter diameter, the 2.6 ton observatory drifted at a height of 37 km to northern Canada. During the nearly 6 day long flight in the stratosphere, the Sun was observed without interruption, tens of thousands highly resolved images in the ultraviolet light were taken, and the magnetic field at the solar surface was measured with unprecedented precision. more
Seemingly identical nanoobjects such as molecules, proteins, or nanoparticles differ in size, shape, and local environment. Averaging over many nanoobjects blurs the result one gets. Only measurements on single nanoobjects give the full picture. Optical spectroscopy of a single absorbing nanoparticle has to detect a small variation on a large, noisy background. Coupling the particle under investigation to a larger antenna particle simplifies the task and will allow experiments on tiny nanoparticles. more
To find materials which superconduct at normal temperatures is an enormous challenge. So-far the discoveries of new superconductors were nearly always empirical and often surprising. The high-temperature superconductivity in cuprates has not been understood, but for all known cuprates it has been found that the experimental critical temperatures correlate with the calculated dispersions of the conduction band. Although it seems impossible to find cuprates with "better" bandstructures, this might be achieved with man-made heterostructures of alternating nickelates and insulating oxides. more
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