DFG funds new Research Training Group „Rethinking Quantum Field Theory“

The Research Training Group (RTG) "Rethinking Quantum Field Theory" is based in the Physics Department and the IRIS Adlers­hof of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin(HU). From April 2020, it will be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) for four and a half years with about 4 Mio Euro. The RTG will address urgent theoretical questions and significant innovations in quantum field theory (QFT) that go beyond established methods.

Quantum field theory (QFT), the unification of quantum mechanics and special relativity, represents a major intellectual achievement of the past century. These innovations culminated in the formulation of the Standard Model (SM). With the discovery of the Higgs boson, the SM is an empirical validated and mathematically consistent theory valid up to highest energies. However, a number of terrestrial experiments exhibit significant tensions with the SM, while astrophysical observations require the existence of dark matter and energy showing that the SM is not the ultimate theory of particle physics. In addition, pressing theoretical issues as the quest for a quantum theory of gravity, the hierarchy problem and the discovery of dualities between different QFTs raise questions about the foundations of the SM and QFT in general. In recent years important innovations in QFT occurred leading the community to a serious rethinking of its core concepts. These include the methodology of perturbation theory, dualities and hidden symmetries, the prominent role of effective field theory in fundamental physics, modern on-shell methods for scattering amplitudes and the gradient flow methodology in lattice field theory. The further development of these methods and concepts of modern QFT leading to a deep rethinking of it provides the common basis of this proposed research training group (RTG). We designed a timely qualification program for the new generation of quantum field theorists. The RTG is headed by 12 principal investigators including senior and junior research group leaders, encompassing all groups working in theoretical high energy physics Humboldt University. Partners of the RTG are the Max-Planck-Insitute for Gravitational Physics and the Helmholtz Center DESY. IRIS Adlers­hof is involved with several members in the newly established RTG. These are RTG-spokesman Prof. Jan Plefka, Dr. Valentina Forini, Prof. Dirk Kreimer and Prof. Matthias Staudacher.

IRIS Adlers­hof congratulates the successful applicants and wishes a lot of success.


Lively participation in the symposium IRIS 2019: Best-Poster-Award for Dr. Benedikt Haas

The IRIS Symposium has firmly established itself as an annual highlight in the scientific life of IRIS Adlershof, and it has a growing interest far beyond the Adlershof location, as the annually increasing number of participants impressively demonstrates. This year, ideas for the further development of IRIS in the areas of 2D Based Heterostructures, Energy Conversion, Data Science, and Emerging Fields were in the focus of interest. These topics were introduced to an extremely open-minded audience of internationally renowned researchers.

The junior researchers had the opportunity to present their own research results during a poster competition to the invited speakers and the other participants of the symposium. The jury, consisting of the junior researchers Dr. Zsuzsanna Heiner and Dr. Felix Hermerschmidt, as well as the IRIS member Prof. Nicola Pinna, was visibly struggling to make the choice for the best poster.

Finally, Dr. Benedikt Haas was able to prevail with a total of 33 competitors with his poster. Benedikt, PostDoc in the group „Structure Research and Electron Microscopy“, which is led by IRIS member Prof. Christoph T. Koch, received the Best Poster Award and a voucher for a travel allowance up to a maximum of 500 EUR for active participation in a scientific conference. Doctoral students Martin Rothe (AG Nanooptik) and Niklas Mutz (AG Hybride Bauelemente) were awarded second and third prize as well as book vouchers for their poster contributions. The event ended with grilled and drinks.

IRIS Adlershof congratulates the winners and thanks everyone who has contributed actively to the success of the symposium.


The best of both worlds: HU article on the importance of CRC 951 published

"Getting to the bottom of the materials of the future" - in a newly published article, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin addresses the research of the CRC 951 - Hybrid Inorganic/Organic Systems for Opto-Electronics (HIOS), in which members of IRIS Adlershof are also involved.
The importance of the CRC’s theoretical und application-oriented research on materials is discussed, especially with regard to the indispensable use of optoelectronics in modern everyday life and the ever-increasing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.
Claudia Draxl’s SOLgroup and Emil List-Kratochvil’s Hybrid Devices Group are covered in detail. Both are members of IRIS Adlershof and professors at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the HU, as is the spokesperson of HIOS, Norbert Koch.
The article can be found in the press portal of the HU. Here you can find the website of the CRC, which entered its third funding period in July this year.  More information about the working group of Claudia Draxl can be found here, the working group of Emil List-Kratochvil here.


Workshop of the Institute of Physics (IOP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and IRIS Adlershof in Dongguan, Guangdong

The Institute of Physics (IOP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and IRIS Adlershof want to intensify their scientific collaboration. After the first joint workshop at  IRIS Adlershof  on June 25./26. the second workshop took place at the IOP (SLAB) in Dongguan, Guangdong, followed up by visits of the IOP in Beijing and at the University of CAS (UCAS, North Campus). The focus of interest were priority subjects at both institutes, including 2D- and nano-materials, soft matter, hybrid electronic devices, photoemission, synchrotron research, and quantum information.

During their visit to Beijing, members of the Berlin delegation headed by IRIS Director Prof. Jürgen P. Rabe also met Academician Prof. Hongjun Gao, who will visit Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on October 21, with an official delegation of IOP/CAS.

Starting in November, Carlos-Andres Palma, Professor at the IOP, will regularly carry out research at IRIS Adlershof within the framework of a research fellowship granted by the Alexander von Humboldt. Furthermore, the participating institutes plan to regularly exchange students and scientists, establish a joint postdoctoral program, and implement joint scientific events.



Freigeist-Fellowship of the Volkswagen foundation for Dr. Nichol Furey

The mathematicial physicist Nichol Furey (University of Cambridge) has been awarded a Freigeist Fellowship by the Volkswagen Foundation. 

These Fellowships are aimed at unusual and courageous lateral thinkers from all disciplines in the first four years following their doctorate. In order to become a Freigeist Fellow, the young researchers must not only possess outstanding specialist expertise, but also look beyond their own discipline and combine critical analytical skills with new perspectives and approaches.

At the IRIS Adlershof of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Ms. Furey will study a special number system, the octaves, and would like to prove that the behavior of elementary particles can be predicted using this system. Her project "In-depth Study into the Algebraic Structure of Elementary Particle Physics" explores the question of whether there is a mathematical logic behind the inner processes of elementary particle physics. 

Anyone interested in learning more about this exciting topic can experience Ms. Furey as invited speaker at the symposium IRIS 2019.

IRIS Adlershof congratulates the successful young scientist and looks forward to a fruitful cooperation.



Humboldt Research Fellowship for Prof. Carlos-Andres Palma

Professor Carlos-Andres Palma has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. The fellowship provides funding for international experts to make extended research visits to Germany. At IRIS Adlershof and at the physics department of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Prof. Palma will contribute with expertise in ultrahigh-vacuum variable temperature, low-temperature atomic force microscopy (AFM) and complementary surface analytics. Together with Prof. Jürgen P. Rabe’s group and co-hosted by Prof. Norbert Koch’s group, he will explore nanographane materials and their phonon properties in the project entitled ‘Low-dimensional carbon sp3 materials at well-defined interfaces’, in collaboration with Prof. Klaus Müllen (MPI Mainz) and Prof. Thomas Frauenheim (University of. Bremen). The first publication from his fellowship "Edge Phonon Excitations in a Chiral Self-Assembled Supramolecular Nanoribbon" has been recently published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Carlos-Andres Palma (36) is associate professor of physics at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)–a leading research institute in condensed matter physics, contributing extensively to copper-and iron-based high-temperature superconductors, Weyl semimetals, the quantum anomalous Hall effect, topological insulators and related physics. Prior to joining the Institute of Physics, he worked at the TU Munich, the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, ETH Zurich, University College London and the University of Strasbourg, where he completed his MSc and PhD in 2010.

His group is funded by the Thousand Youth Talent Plan, the CAS Instrument Development, the CAS Frontier Research Grant and Sino-German NSFC-DFG Grants. His research interests lie in the physics of precision molecular architectures at interfaces.

Anyone interested in learning more about Prof. Palma's exciting research can experience him as an invited speaker at the symposium IRIS 2019.



Quantum Futur Award 2019 for Aron Vanselow

Aron Vanselow has been awarded the second prize of the Quantum Futur Award 2019 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for his master thesis on "Mid-infrared frequency-domain optical coherence tomography with undetected photons". Mr. Vanselow did his work in the group "Nonlinear Quantum Optics", led by Dr. Sven Ramelow, who is a member of IRIS Adlershof. Some results of this work were recently published in the journal Optics Letters and have already led to a patent.

IRIS Adlershof warmly congratulates the young award winner.



Royal Society of Chemistry Poster Prize for Valentin Reiter-Scherer

Valentin Reiter-Scherer, doctoral student in the group of Jürgen P. Rabe, director of IRIS Adlershof was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Poster Prize at the Polydays 2019 of the Berlin-Brandenburg Association of Polymer Research (BVP) for his poster "Dynamic interactions of influenza A virus proteins hemagglutinin and neuraminidase with sialic acid revealed by Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy". Well deserved, Valentin!


ERC Starting Grant for Dr. Tim Schröder

Dr. Tim Schröder, junior research group leader at the Department of Physics of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut fuer Höchstfrequenztechnik (FBH), was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and will receive EUR 1.5 million for five years.

With his project QUERP "Quantum Repeater Architectures Based on Quantum Memories and Photonic Encoding", Mr. Schröder is researching the next generation of faster, safer and future-compatible communication at the interface of integrated quantum optics, communication and new material systems.

He can also use resources from IRIS Adlershof when working on this topic. We congratulate and look forward to the continuation of our good cooperation.