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Replacement for the cooling miracle

Jürgen Schnack
Patrick Pollmeier

Physicist Professor Dr Jürgen Schnack is researching new materials for future cooling technologies. This involves cooling at super-low temperatures close to absolute zero. These are necessary for very specialised applications. In order to expand his research on this topic, Schnack has co-initiated the Europe-wide doctoral network MolCal. A first cooling candidate with good properties has already been found. It could at least partially replace the gas helium.

The full report by Andreas Lorenz-Meyer can be found here.

JS 07.07.24

The new Medical Physics degree programme starts in winter semester 2024

Mouse liver
© Wolfgang Hübner / Universität Bielefeld

A new degree programme in Medical Physics will start at Bielefeld University in the winter semester 2024/25. The degree programme is admission-restricted and designed for a maximum of 30 students. The application deadline for the degree programme is mid-July.

The full story can be found here.

MSR, 24.06.24

Exploring the mysteries of the universe with new images

Messier 78

ESA's Euclid space mission publishes five new views of the universe as part of the Early Release Observations. The new images show that the space telescope's unique view of the universe can help unravel the mysteries of the cosmos. They are part of the first scientific data and publications released today. The Euclid Consortium, with the participation of Bielefeld cosmologist Professor Dr Cora Uhlemann, also publishes key references to the mission on its website, in particular the Euclid overview publications.

The full story can be found here.

MSR, 24.05.24

Billions of galaxies beyond mediocrity

Cosmology has a long tradition at Bielefeld University. With Professor Dr Cora Uhlemann, this field of research is being expanded to include a professorship. Funded by the European Research Council (ERC) with a Starting Grant totalling 1.5 million euros, the project will spend the next five years investigating how galaxies are distributed in space and how large-scale structures are formed there. This will provide insights into the formation of the universe and its further development. Cora Uhlemann is going beyond previously used methods and can draw conclusions about the gravitational force of dark matter based on new descriptions of the distribution.

The full story can be found here.

MSR, 20.03.24

Bianka Wartig receives poster prize at the GDSU Annual Conference 2024

Bianka Wartig receives the poster award at the annual conference of the Gesellschaft für Didaktik des Sachunterrichts for her doctoral project'Level Up! - Für den naturwissenschaftlichen Sachunterricht'). Congratulations!

MSR, 20.03.24

MSCA Doctoral Network

Molecule-based magneto/electro/mechano-Calorics (MolCal)

MolCal logo
@ MolCal

In January 2024 MolCal, a MSCA Doctoral Network starts whose overarching scientific goal is the preparation of new molecular assemblies with outstanding potential as caloric materials for refrigeration and heat pump applications at near-ambient and very-low temperature, and their exploitation in prototype devices. MolCal will offer PhD candidates the unique opportunity to boost their personal and career prospects by joining a cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and training programme. Activities will encompass chemistry, materials science, physics, and device fabrication.

Participating partners: CSIC, The University of Edinburgh, University of Crete, Bielefeld University, University of Seville, University Paris-Saclay, CNR, SunAmp, University of Zaragoza, Eindhoven University of Technology, Quantum Design North America, Lake Shore Cryotronics, BSH Spain.

Contact in Bielefeld: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schnack

JS, 19.01.2024

Resilience of thermal equilibrium

The question of how a system responds to an external perturbation is ubiquitous in physics. In our publication specified below, we report on the remarkable discovery that a large class of many-body systems turns out to be surprisingly resilient against such perturbations as long as the unperturbed system finds itself close to thermal equilibrium.

The first author, Lennart Dabelow, got his PhD from Bielefeld University and is presently a Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London. The second author, Peter Reimann, has been at Bielefeld University's Faculty of Physics since 2002.

Full publication: Nature Communications 15:294 (2024)

Bielefeld University joins Particle World Network

The nationwide Particle World network brings together research institutes, pupils and learning centres to attract young people to mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology - the STEM subjects. Together, young people and teachers are to be taught about particle physics in an exciting and understandable way. Bielefeld University is now part of the nationwide project. Its first contribution is a public presentation followed by a workshop on Saturday, 11 November. Professor Dr Sören Schlichting from Bielefeld University will then present the work of the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) particle accelerator at the CERN research centre in Geneva.

Further information here.

07.12.23 MSR

Top ERC funding in the millions for four researchers

For the first time, Bielefeld University has simultaneously acquired four Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). The prestigious funding goes to the health scientists Professor Dr Anna Oksuzyan and Professor MD Kayvan Bozorgmehr, the physicist Professor Dr Gergely Endrödi and the social anthropologist Dr Megha Amrith. The grants will be sponsored with a total of more than 8 million euros, of which 7.3 million euros will go to Bielefeld University. The four research projects are scheduled to start in the course of 2024. The ERC Consolidator Grant is highly coveted - this time, only 14.5 per cent of applications were approved. In Germany, Bielefeld University is second only to Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in the number of Consolidator Grants awarded in this round.

Further information here.

07.12.23 MSR

Bielefeld researchers using European supercomputers

Physicists Dr. Olaf Kaczmarek and Dr. Christian Schmidt-Sonntag of Bielefeld University have secured 82 million core hours on the most powerful supercomputers in Europe. This will not only speed up the research process in their respective projects on heavy quarks in a plasma of quarks and gluons (Dr. Kaczmarek) and the phase diagram of quarks and gluons (Dr. Schmidt-Sonntag), but also highlight the importance of their work. The researchers’ findings will later be transferred to the Bielefeld supercomputer at the Bielefeld GPU Cluster and be made publicly accessible. 

For more information, please see:

BNL News zum Projekt über schwere Quarks

COSMOfit - Ready for space?

In search of Alpha Centauri and micrometeorites

Contributors to the project
Participants in the project © Wissenswerkstadt / Bielefeld University

"COSMOfit" offers an introduction to space exploration with workshops and an Escape Game.

3 - 2 - 1 - Liftoff! The "COSMOfit" project has started in Bielefeld. Together with researchers from Bielefeld University and Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (HSBI), Wissenswerkstadt Bielefeld offers an introduction to space research. In addition to children and young people, adults are also addressed.

The "COSMOmission" is an immersive "Escape Game" for which a room in the Volksbank Bielefeld-Gütersloh at the Kesselbrink was transformed into a spaceship cockpit. On the way to the star system Alpha Centauri, the players have to solve various puzzles in order to reach the destination - the fictitious Earth-like planet Gaia. In this way, scientific knowledge from space research is conveyed in an unusual and playful way. Researchers from the Faculties of Physics and Biology at Bielefeld University and researchers and students from the "Digital Media and Experiment" course at Bielefeld University were involved in the development.

In the "COSMOlabs", children and young people as well as adults slip into the role of space explorers and take a closer look at the universe. There are five different workshop topics, developed with researchers from the Faculties of Physics and Biology at the university. Why is it dark at night when there are such an unimaginable number of stars? And can micrometeorites actually be found in the dust from the roof of a university building? Participation in the "COSMOlabs" and the "COSMOmission" is free of charge. Dates are available until mid-December.

More about the Wissenswerkstadt:

MSR 1.9.23

Information field theory for experiments on large-scale research equipment

Radiobiology, radioastronomy and cosmic radiation

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the joint project "Information Field Theory for Experiments on Large-scale Research Facilities" as part of its programme Exploring the Universe and Matter (ErUM). The working group of Prof. Dominik Schwarz at Bielefeld University is involved in this project. The project is coordinated by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Garching). Prof. Schwarz's group, together with colleagues from the University of Hamburg and the Technical University of Munich, will apply methods of information field theory to problems in radio astronomical imaging. Other project partners are RWTH Aachen, the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Technical University of Munich, and the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich. Information field theory is a toolbox that allows to obtain a maximum amount of information about physical fields with the support of incomplete measurements and under consideration of measurement errors. In this ErUM-Data project, information field theory methods are further developed for radiation biology, radio astronomy and cosmic particle radiation.

For more details see:

Subkelvin cooling for space travel

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 145 (2023) 7743–7747 / © Universität Bielefeld

Magnetic materials can be used as coolants in ordinary refrigerators or to reach ultracold temperatures to power quantum computers or space telescopes, for example.

Researchers from Herakleion, Edinburgh, Saragosa and Bielefeld have recently succeeded in synthesizing a new material based on gadolinium-containing molecules that has excellent cooling rates at temperatures between 1.5 K and 0.3 K. This is exactly the temperature range that is needed for applications in space telescopes.

The contribution of the Bielefeld-based working group Schnack consists in modeling the material with the support of advanced quantum mechanical methods.

Source: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 145 (2023) 7743-7747

MSR 20.4.23

Exchange Invitation

The Faculty of Physics invites all interested physics teachers to an open exchange on the topic "Physics in school" on March 21, 2023 (2:15 - 3:45 pm). Topics include (professional development) offers for teachers and students as well as the new "Kernlehrplan".
Further information / registration.

LSR, 7.2.23

Nanomembranes with pore molecules for more efficient filtering

Prof. Dr. Dario Anselmetti of Bielefeld University with a spherical model of a cyclodextrin molecule
(c) Universität Bielefeld / Christoph Pelargus

International Research Cooperation with Bielefelder Physicists Publishes Study in Nature (in German)

CP, 1.10.22

New Video from the Department of Physics

Video by Chris Harting
© Bielefeld University / Chris Hartung

Video by Chris Harting (in German)

MSR, 1.10.22

Bachelor's in Physics 2022/23

New Bachelor's course starts in the winter semester of 2022/23. Detailed information can be found here.

MSR, 1.10.22

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