Yearbook 2011

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A desire for increasing economic output causes society to have contradicting expectations of political actors. Either they should create incentives for investment, or they should do the opposite by increasing wages and government spending and thus raising the demand for goods and services. According to Chancellor Merkel, “growth is the key to everything.” This implies, however, that consumers actually keep wanting to buy more and more goods and services. But do they really? And if they do, what exactly do they want to buy? more
The field of software verification offers a rigorous methodology for specifying formally what programs are supposed to do, and for proving formally that they adhere to their specifications. The CompCert project, led by Xavier Leroy at INRIA, has demonstrated the feasibility of a particularly important application of this methodology, namely the verification of realistic optimizing compilers. However, several challenges remain in order to build verified compilers that support modular software development and multicore architectures. more
The measurement of stellar oscillations allows us to infer the structure, evolution, and internal rotation of stars. The Sun-like planet-hosting star HD 52265 was observed with the CoRoT space telescope. The analysis of its oscillations allows to estimate the stellar properties mass, radius, and age with high precision. In addition it was possible to infer the stellar internal rotation from its oscillation frequencies. more

How does a sunspot work?

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Lagg, Andreas; Schüssler, Manfred; Solanki, Sami K.
The dark sunspots are regions of strong magnetic field at the solar surface. The origin of their characteristic fine structure and the related gas flows remained an unsolved problem for a century. The interplay between observations with highest spatial resolution and realistic computer simulations now led to the resolution of the riddle. The interaction of the magnetic field with the convective motions, which transport energy from the solar interior to the surface, explains the structure and dynamics of sunspots. more
Recent activities of our Department showed how crucial the parameter "size" is with respect to electrochemical overall properties. This paper highlights experimental contributions of our department in this respect, which are based on predictions that we made and succeeded to verify. more
The demands on the numerical methods to calculate the electronic and optical properties of nanostructures are presented. It is emphasized that a connection to experimental results requires to take many atoms into account, while considering the effects of correlations in the excited exciton states. A modern approach to this difficult challenge is presented along with an application of the method to predict the feasibility of a scheme aimed at the generation of entangled photon pairs. more
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