Soft Matter (Clemens Bechinger)
Max Planck Fellow
Prof. Dr. Clemens Bechinger, head of the second Physical Department at the Universität Stuttgart, has been appointed as a Max Planck Fellow at the Institute. The appointment as Max Planck Fellow by the MPG is limited to a time period of five years and involves leadership of a research group at a Max Planck Institute.
Professor Bechinger describes his Max Planck Fellow Research: "Our group is largely interested in colloidal systems, i.e. mesoscopic particles with diameters of 10 - 1000 nanometers which are suspended in a liquid. Although colloids are much larger than atoms, both systems are essentially driven by the same underlying equations and therefore share many properties. This similarity is particularly striking in situations which are governed by structural aspects or fluctuations as being important for phase transitions, glass formation, critical and dissipation phenomena etc. In contrast to atomic systems where the interactions are dictated by the electronic structure, in colloidal systems they can be largely tuned by external parameters such as optical, electrical or magnetic fields. This distinguishes colloids as versatile model systems which become increasingly important for the understanding of fundamental processes in solid state and material science but also for experimental tests of theories related to statistical physics."