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Mathematics, physics and chemistry – three core disciplines under one roof

Faculty II Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Matheon eye.
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Faculty II is home to the core academic disciplines mathematics, physics and chemistry. Faculty II has earned wide recognition for its excellent scientific achievements in both pure and application-oriented research.

Mathematics is not only a millennium-old cultural treasure; today it is a multi-faceted and contemporary subject of teaching and research. This core academic discipline has since developed into a key technology of the information age. With all that a large technical university has to offer, TU Berlin students profit greatly from purposeful collaboration between the natural and engineering sciences on the one hand, and research in pure mathematics on the other. It is at this interface that TU Berlin mathematicians teach, conduct research, and devise hypotheses in response to increasingly complex challenges arising from engineering and the natural sciences.

Numerous cooperative projects and collaborative research centers, graduate schools and research groups associated with the German Research Foundation (DFG) underscore the high level of excellence maintained by the “Department of Mathematics”. The department also plays a leading role in the DFG research center “MATHEON” (Mathematics for Key Technologies), and “Berlin Math-e-matical School” (BMS), a joint grad-uate school receiving support from the “Excellence Initiative of Federal and State Governments”. These two important professional networks were the result of a fusing of several intramural and extramural mathematics institutes in Berlin; they enjoy worldwide recognition as beacons of excellence in mathematical studies. Together, these projects receive approximately 7.7 million euros in external funding each year. The TU Berlin is the host university for the research center “MATHEON”.

TU Berlin chemists also enjoy a prominent international reputation in the fields of pure and applied research – a reputation for excellence that is underpinned by modern experimental and theoretical methods. With an extensive infrastructure of large-scale research equipment that is available only in a few locations anywhere in the world, research can be carried out here in all 18 areas of specialization. Core research activities focus on the chemistry of material sciences, synthetic chemistry and catalysis, biological and biophysical chemistry, and chemical technology.

The “Department of Chemistry” also serves as the central element of the excellence cluster “Unifying Concepts in Catalysis” (UniCat), which receives support in the context of the “Excellence Initiative of Federal and State Governments”. This program purposefully brings together chemists, engineers, physicists, and biologists from the greater Berlin-Brandenburg research region. The project receives six million euros each year, with TU Berlin acting as the host university.

Scientists in Faculty II’s four Physics Departments focus on solid-state physics, with particular emphasis on semi-conductor and nanophysics, optics and nuclear physics, as well as theoretical and astrophysics. Application-oriented basic research forms the core of these scientific activities, for instance the excellent work of the “Center of Nanophotonics”, which boasts one of Germany’s most up-to-date cleanroom laboratories. TU Berlin scientists play a leading international role in the field of quantum dot laser technology and they maintain numerous partnerships with industry.

The core specialty areas of the Optics Department include light optics, laser physics, optical technologies, as well as electronic microscopy and electronic holography. As an example, TU Berlin is currently developing new laser systems and examining their optical characteristics. These inventions are used for practical applications in the laser processing of materials, as well as in the field of medicine. Nuclear Physics focuses mainly on experimental research in the areas of atomic, molecular and cluster physics. Research into clusters and nano-crystals is a major new field of scientific interest. Extensive research efforts addressing non-linear dynamics and Berlin’s only “Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics” round out this wide science spectrum.

Our Physics Departments are home to two DFG-sponsored “Collaborative Research Centers” and are operated collaboratively with other research institutions in Berlin. TU Berlin serves as the host university for both centers.
Faculty II is charged with providing a wide range of services for TU Berlin students, as certain mathematics, physics and chemistry courses are often obligatory for students seeking to earn an engineering degree. Faculty II has played a leading role in introducing “e-learning” and “e-teaching” at our university. The “innoCampus” is just one practical expression of our efforts in this field, a university initiative that receives support from numerous projects. The Faculty is also home to the interdisciplin-ary programs “Natural Sciences in the Information Society” and the orientative program MINTgruen (Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Sciences, Technology).

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