MaxPlanckResearch 3/2013Tracing the Noxious Five
In many regions of the world, air pollution is set to worsen in the decades to come.
Jos Lelieveld and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in
Mainz forecast where this will happen. Their studies of atmospheric chemistry also
uncover the unexpected effects of some substances.
MaxPlanckResearch 2/2013Greenhouse Gas from the Garden
It is commonly thought that methane forms either chemically, at high pressure or temperature, or as a product of microbial activity. But there are also other ways. Junior scientists working with Frank Keppler from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz discovered unexpected sources of methane: plants, fungi, soil – and even meteorites.
MaxPlanckResearch 4/2012A Place That Radiates Great Science
The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry opened its doors in Berlin-Dahlem 100 years ago. Just three years later, it produced its first Nobel laureate: Richard Willstätter had worked out the structure of chlorophyll. However, the research facility, later reborn as the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, became world-famous through the discovery of nuclear fission.
MaxPlanckResearch 4/2012Elemental Metamorphosis
The inside of planets, stellar shells and numerous other uncomfortable spots in space have one thing in common: matter there is under extreme pressure of several million atmospheres. Mikhail Eremets and his colleagues produce such cosmic pressures in their lab at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz – and they do so in surprisingly simple experiments. They are researching which unique transformations gases, but also metals, undergo under these conditions.
MaxPlanckResearch 3/2012Open-Air Lab in the Amazon Rainforest
The setting in which researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry study which substances plants exchange with their environment is artificial, yet still as natural as possible. Nina Knothe, who works at the Mainz-based institute, is preparing such an experiment at the Max Planck Society’s sub-institute in Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest, by checking the lighting conditions in a cuvette covered with an airtight film.
MPR 1 /2011Breathless in the Megacity
Megacities offer the enticing prospect of employment and the benefits of an urban infrastructure – but they also expose their inhabitants to high levels of air pollution. Together with an Indian Partner Group of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Bhola Ram Gurjar is analyzing this pollution and how badly it is affecting the health of city dwellers.
MPR 1 /2011Moon Dust Is Not to Be Sneezed At
When the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission returned to Earth, they had almost 22 kilograms of rock from the surface of the moon in their baggage. Josef Zähringer from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg was one of the first researchers allowed to analyze the material in the US. Two months later, Heinrich Wänke’s team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz also received a grain.