Yearbook 2013

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Old Buddhist temples, rural underdevelopment and extreme poverty on the one hand, skyscrapers, high-tech and world champion in exports on the other: during the past forty years, China has surged forward to catch up with the industrialized nations. What are the causes of this economic boom, and what are the factors that could lead to the destabilization of the Chinese success model? more
Computer systems mediate many aspects of modern life, from the smart phones used to access websites, to the services hosted by those websites, to the computer systems managing core infrastructures. These systems compose of hundreds, even thousands, of computers that work together to provide services upon which we rely on a daily basis. Ensuring that these services are reliable—both correct and available—is a fundamental challenge for distributed systems research. Replication is a tool that can be used to ensure both correct behavior and availability. more
JavaScript is a programming language interpreted by all major web browsers. Owing to its widespread use, rich interfaces and somewhat lax protections, JavaScript is often exploited for attacks that breach the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive data in the browser - passwords, credit card numbers, cookies, etc. We report recent work on protecting JavaScript with information flow analysis, a technique that tracks data as it flows through an executing program. Our implementation is backed by a theoretical model and incurs only moderate performance overhead. more
The exploration of the conditions that have prevailed in the early Solar System is the goal of NASA’s Dawn mission [1], for which MPS provided two cameras (“Framing Cameras“) [2]. The Dawn mission explored the asteroid 4 Vesta from different orbits for a period of one year, and is now approaching asteroid 1 Ceres. The Vesta mission phase led to a series of discoveries as, for example, the proof of an iron core, the widespread occurrence of dark material on the otherwise bright surface, as well as a variety of distinctive surface structures that point to a turbulent past of Vesta. more
The outer hot and dynamic atmosphere of the Sun, the corona, is dominated by the magnetic field. Convective motions near the surface are braiding the magnetic field lines that reach into the corona, and by this induce currents which are then dissipated and heat the plasma. Numerical experiments can capture the underlying processes well enough to reproduce the complex observations of the real Sun. The interplay of modern solar observations and numerical models on supercomputers provides the means to get closer to an understanding of the heating, structure, and dynamics of the solar corona. more
Non-evaporable functional molecules such as proteins and peptides can be converted into intact gas phase ions by electrospray ionization. This allows the deposition on surfaces in a vacuum, and thus the atomically resolving analysis by scanning tunneling microscopy. In addition to a detailed insight into the structure of these large molecules, electrospray ion beam deposition allows steering of the molecular conformation into folded, unfolded or two-dimensionally folded structures. more
Graphene, a single atom thick carbon layer, is grown on top of silicon carbide (SiC). When the topmost silicon atoms are sublimated by annealing the SiC substrate, the remaining carbon forms the graphene layer. In order to retrieve the extraordinary electronic properties of the graphene, it must be chemically decoupled from the substrate. This is achieved by inserting hydrogen between graphene and SiC, so-called intercalation, which passivates the substrate. Intercalation of other materials, such as germanium allows to functionalize the graphene, so that a taylor-made doping is possible. more
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