Current Research Foci

Experimentelle Physik

On the basis of a tradition in physical chemistry and statistical physics represented by scientists such as Peter Debye, the Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics (formerly Institute for Experimental Physics I) has become an international renowned focal point for soft matter physics and its applications in biological physics, thereby developing and utilizing predominately photonic techniques. On the molecular scale the institute’s research is entrenched in the thermal and driven dynamics of macromolecules such as DNA and cytoskeletal filaments (Kremer, Käs, Seidel) and of nano- as well as microcobjects such as microswimmers (Cichos). Understanding soft matter from the bottom up has a defining moment on the active and passive material properties of biological cells (Käs, Mierke). Consequentially, the institute has a pioneering role in the Physics of Cancer (Käs, Mierke) acknowledged by leading Cancer Institutes. This research is possible due to ground-breaking technical developments of the institute in areas such as optical trapping (Käs), magnetic tweezing (Seidel), photothermal microscopy and thermal single molecule trapping (Cichos), which led to the founding of start-ups and close ties to national and international industry. The institute has very active collaborations with the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the university (Prof. Klaus Kroy, Prof. Wolfhard Janke, Prof. Ulrich Behn) and is well embedded in the research landscape in Leipzig with close contact to many research institutions in Leipzig and Saxony.


Cooperating Departments


Thermoplasmonics: How Can Heat Be Used Effectively?


In many areas of technology, heat is perceived as an undesirable “by-product”. However, controlling the generation of heat, especially by small metal...

Leipzig University Secures Another Humboldt Professorship: Green Light for Appointment of Physicist Oskar Hallatschek


This year, Leipzig University has once again landed Germany’s most valuable research award: it will now be able to appoint Professor Oskar Hallatschek...

Active Matter in the Training Camp: Scientists Shed Light on the Current State of the Application of Machine Learning in Research on Active Materials


Machine learning processes have experienced a huge increase in applications in many areas in recent years due to the availability of enormous amounts...

Researchers Develop Tumour Growth Roadmap: Reductions in Llikelihood of Relapse and Mortality Rates Possible


Researchers at Leipzig University and Leipzig University Hospital (UKL) have discovered that tumour growth and tissue invasion by cancer cells can be...

letzte Änderung: 14.01.2020