“Be a diamond. Flourish under pressure” – Maureen Joyce Connolly To most people diamonds are well-known as the marvelous gemstones which used in a piece of jewelry. However, they are not only “a girl’s best friends”. Due to their remarkable physical and optical properties diamonds can be used by scientists and engineers as well! With this blogpost I’ll guide you through my research here at HZB and, hopefully, will share the delight and enjoyment of working with diamonds. Why diamonds? To have a better understanding of diamond it is useful to have a look at its crystalline structure. The strong sp3 covalent bonds between carbonRead More →

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 →