Yearbook 2015

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2008 the market for mortgage-backed securities from US mortgage loans imploded. The writedowns required and the payments due from credit insurance policies brought the financial system to the brink of collapse. Why had economists failed to spot the warning signs of the incipient worldwide financial crisis? The rationality assumptions behind economic theory founder on the complexity of the economy; expectations cannot be understood rationally but are contingent visions of the future. Such “fictional” expectations play a central role in decisions and in the dynamics of economic developments. more
Social computing systems refer to an emerging class of societal-scale human-computer systems. Examples include social networking sites like Facebook and Google Plus, blogging and microblogging sites like Twitter and LiveJournal, anonymous social media sites like Whisper and 4chan, content sharing sites like YouTube and Instagram, social bookmarking sites like Reddit and Pinterest, crowdsourced opinion sites like Yelp and eBay seller ratings, and social peer production sites like Wikipedia and Amazon's Mechanical Turk. more
The origin of magnetic spots on stars like the Sun is not understood. Stellar rotation is a key ingredient in models of stellar magnetism. Five Sun-like stars observed by the Kepler space telescope are found for which both the internal rotation rate (using asteroseismology) and the surface rotation rate (using starspots) could be measured. Together these measurements show that the difference between surface and internal rotation in these stars is small, as in the Sun. The upcoming PLATO space mission will allow to apply this analysis to many thousands of sun-like stars. more
In transition metal compounds, electrons are strongly entangled (correlated) by Coulomb interaction and forms a rich variety of solid, liquid and gas phases. We are aiming to explore exotic electronic phases formed by spin, charge and orbital degrees of freedom of entangled electrons. In this review, we report that by incorporating relativistic spin-orbit coupling, entanglement of spin and motion of electrons, in complex iridium oxides, even richer phases of correlated electrons emerge including spin orbital electron solid (Mott insulator), Dirac electron gas and Quantum spin liquid. more
Atomically small magnets behave drastically different compared to macroscopic magnets. Quantum mechanical phenomena determine their stability and dynamics. Scanning probe methods can be used to create individual quantum magnets atom by atom. The atomically precise magnetic structures enable the exploration of new concepts for ultra-dense data storage and magnetic sensors for atomic-scale environments. more

Molecular movie from Hamburg

Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter Hayes, Stuart; Manz, Stephanie; Bücker, Robert; Kassier, Günther; Miller, R.J. Dwayne.
Many processes in the chemistry of life take place on ultrashort length and time scales. Their observation thus lies beyond the capabilities of optical microscopes. The investigation of such processes using novel electron sources in many cases presents a cost-saving alternative to X-ray studies using synchrotron radiation sources and free-electron lasers. Also the development of methods for the preparation of liquid samples is essential for the study of many organic materials. more
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