The department traditionally focuses on basic research. Solid-state and cluster physics, biophysics, and theoretical physics are among the department’s current areas of focus. This includes physical surfaces and their structures, the study of biologically important molecules, investigating chemical reactions with fast laser pulses, the application of mathematical models, and development of methods for many-body physics.
This research is performed by the research groups headed by the department’s 20 professors, of whom 14 work in experimental physics, five in theoretical physics, and one in physics education. Four professorships established jointly with the Helmholtz Centre Berlin and/or Max Born Institute complement the spectrum of topics studied with nuclear physics, solar energy, and rapid nonlinear processes involving surfaces and the solid state.
The department is home to the following collaborative research centers:
- Analysis and control of ultra-fast photoinduced reactions (CRC 450)
- Protein-cofactor interactions in biological processes (CRC 498)
- Elementary processes in molecular switches on surfaces (CRC 658)
Individual research groups are involved in additional CRCs. There are also a large number of other externally funded projects.
For details regarding all of the research groups and the collaborative research centers, please see their individual contributions.