In chemistry, working up a synthesis route or a method which leads to the favored product is a challenging, lengthy procedure. Most of the time it is based on the concept “trial and error” and a lot is discovered by coincidence. For instance, the today’s industrial processes hydroformylation and the Czochralski process have their roots in accidental discoveries and very precise observation. Before a synthesis method becomes a large industrial process the synthesis must be optimized in a much smaller scale. That happens in the laboratory and is an odyssey that includes varying different parameters. Chemists refer to their work in the laboratory as “cooking”.Read More →

A friend of mine that is not connected with physics at all once wondered what I were doing at neutron reactor. That is why she asked me a simple question: “How will your work save the world?” When you are deep inside of your work, physicists, chemists, biologists sometimes forget about that big beautiful aim of everything what we are doing here. Science is not only for your own development, your own interest: it is the way to make the world around better, it is an instrument for doing something great. So, how am I going to save the world? You won’t believe, with water.Read More →

Time is an intriguing concept, isn’t it? We could summarize our own existence in terms of seconds, but there is so much more happening in shorter periods of time, and that’s the main objective of my project. We care about “picoseconds”, an incredibly small subdivision of the second. To help putting things into perspective, there are as many picoseconds in a second as seconds are in THIRTY ONE THOUSAND AND SEVEN HUNDRED years. Yeah, that´s right. But what the hell happens during that time? Well, electrons happen. The guys responsible for driving our whole world as we know it today happen to have an incredibly rich andRead More →

Have you noticed that strange whistling sound on Hahn-Meitner Campus at Wannsee? When I told the PhD students of the research group for inorganic and solid state chemistry at the Technische Universität Berlin that I will be part of the Summer Students Programme at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, one of them had something interesting to tell me. He advised me to pay attention to a whistling sound on Campus Wannsee and he also revealed to me where to find the source of the sound. So on my fourth day at Wannsee I decided to find that thing that made me listen attentively to its music. AtRead More →

Exploring the hidden secrets of materials using spectroscopy Over 60% of Germans rely on glasses and unsurprisingly, this is not a modern phenomenon. The first eyeglasses were made in Italy in the 13th century and their importance has grown since. But sometimes, good vision is not sufficient in order to explore the hidden secrets of materials. In the last century, physicists have developed a method called spectroscopy, which is a technique used to analyse light by breaking it up into its component colours and it’s something that I am doing very regularly during the summer student programme at the HZB. Designing the next generation ofRead More →