Reinhard Drner, aged 47, a professor at the department of physics at the University of Frankfurt am Main, plans to study the special properties of tiny molecules consisting of just two or three atoms of helium experimentally. These systems have unique quantum properties that are of very great importance to basic research. For instance, the two atoms in a helium dimer are very weakly bonded and have an interatomic spacing of about 100 atomic radii making the helium dimer the largest known molecule that exists. It has been proposed that helium trimers, which consist of three helium atoms, have an entirely new, weakly bonded excited state, a so-called "Efimov state", which is currently a topic of debate. Drner's experiments will, for the first time, attempt to prove the existence of helium molecules in this state. Reinhard Drner studied physics and philosophy at the University of Frankfurt and at the RWTH Aachen. After a number of research visits to the USA, Japan and China he first took up a position as a temporary lecturer in 1998, before being appointed to the chair he now holds at the University of Frankfurt in 2002. He played a major role in the development of the reaction microscope, which has been used to achieve many important breakthroughs in the field of atomic collision physics in recent years.
Margit Zacharias, aged 52, a professor of nanotechnology at the Institute of Microsystem Technology at the University of Freiburg, is the first female recipient of Reinhart Koselleck Project funding. With her project she aims to develop new and innovative methods for doping nanostructures and, in particular, nanowires. She is thus addressing a key topic that is of immense scientific interest and, at the same time, has great potential for application in the nanoelectronics of the future. To date there is still no consistent method for defining the electronic properties of nanostructures by c
|Contact: Marco Finetti|