Yearbook 2012

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European systems of corporate governance have so far resisted harmonization because of the diverging interests of member states. With its “Golden Shares” judgment, the European Court of Justice has however begun to independently impose a liberal market approach to corporate governance. How has such a politically sensitive move towards integration been possible against the wishes of member states? more
Cyber-physical systems are computer systems that interact with the physical world. Examples of such systems are autonomous cars, robots, medical devices, etc. These systems contain embedded software and hardware components that access physical data through sensors, compute and communicate, and affect the physical system through actuators. While they can enable many beneficial applications, their design presents many challenges because of their complexity and safety requirements. We describe some major challenges in developing high-assurance cyber-physical systems in a cost-effective manner. more
Its unprecedented sensitivity enabled the Herschel Space Observatory to provide unique solar system observations. Herschel made the first measurement of the hydrogen isotopes D/H in a Jupiter family comet. Unexpectedly the determined value is consistent with the one in the Earth oceans. We conclude that comets are the possible suppliers of the terrestrial water. At the same time Herschel discovered a large water torus, centered on Saturn’s E-ring. It seems to be a medium transporting water originating from cryovolcanic activity of the moon Enceladus into Saturn’s and Titan’s atmospheres. more

Is convection in the solar interior slower than expected?

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research Birch, Aaron; Gizon, Laurent; Hanasoge, Shravan; Langfellner, Jan
Convection is the main mechanism for transporting energy from the base of the solar convection zone to the surface and is thought to be responsible for maintaining the observed global-scale flows of the Sun. Helioseismology, the use of solar oscillations to study the Sun’s interior, has been applied to observations from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager on board the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory to obtain upper limits on the amplitudes of convective flows. These limits are in conflict with theoretical prediction and demand a rethinking of convection theory. more
The neutron spectrometer TRISP constructed by the MPI-FKF at the FRM II in Garching allows measurements of the lifetimes of lattice vibrations (phonons) and of spin excitations (magnons) in solids as a function of energy and momentum. The data generated by TRISP throw new light on several prominent problems in solid state physics. This article describes measurements of phonon lifetimes in the superconductors niobium and lead, and of magnon lifetimes in the antiferromagnet MnF2. In addition, the thermal expansion of MnSi was determined under extreme conditions by the Larmor-diffraction method. more
Since the first diffraction patterns by Max von Laue 100 years ago, crystallography underwent an enormous development. Today's position sensitive detectors and radiation intensive synchrotron and neutron sources allow to measure powder diffractograms with high time resolution. This possibility and innovative analysis methods such as the coupling of symmetry modes with parametric Rietveld refinement allow for direct observation and investigation of phase transitions in solids. more
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