Are you a woman in physics in Germany or a German woman in physics abroad, and would you like to highlight your field of research within the "Physikerin der Woche" initiative? If so, please contact Dr. Ulrike Boehm .
Women in physics of all career stages can participate (bachelor students, master students, postdocs, group leaders, professors).
Alternatively, please feel free to suggest suitable candidates.
You can find an article and posters about our initiative in the April 2018 and February 2021 / January 2022 issues of the Physik-Journal. Please feel free to print the posters and advertise our initiative at your research institution.
Dr. Viktorija Glembockytė (Munich) - Kalenderwoche 25
Viktorija is a postdoctoral researcher in the Chemistry Department and Center for NanoScience at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich. In her research, she investigates processes and builds molecular devices on the nanoscale using two different yet very complementary techniques: DNA origami and single-molecule fluorescence imaging. DNA origami is similar to paper origami; however, it uses DNA as a building material that allows one to “fold” complex 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional structures on a scale several orders of magnitude smaller than paper origami. On the other hand, single-molecule fluorescence imaging allows the investigation of these structures and study of their dynamics and function with the ultimate sensitivity by observing each individual molecule. Combining these methods, she contributed to the development of light antennas on the nanoscale, which enabled the detection of single molecules on a smartphone camera [1,2] as well as self-healing strategies in DNA nanostructures [3,4]. Currently, she is working on combining these two methods to build modular and tunable nanosensors.
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Viktorija Glembockytė
M.Sc. Caroline Girmen (Aachen) - Kalenderwoche 24
Caroline studied physics in Münster and specialized in photonics. Since last year she has been a research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen. There, she is working on fiber optic sensing, mainly for structural health monitoring. By measuring the backscattered light inside the fiber, they can measure distributed strain and temperatures with a high resolution in large structures and single components. The advantage of using fiber sensors to be highlighted is the excellent miniaturization potential and resistance to external influences, making them installable in almost all environments. In the SmartVessel research project, for example, fiber optic sensors are integrated into hydrogen tanks made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) during the manufacturing process. The aim of this condition monitoring is to improve the predictive accuracy of the safety of pressurized hydrogen tanks during refueling and operation and to predict the remaining service life of the tanks. Based on intelligent monitoring of the tanks, maintenance can be planned condition-dependently instead of periodically, and the tanks' lifetime can be extended.
The photo shows Caroline during a laser fair in Munich early this year.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Caroline Grimen
Prof. Martina Havenith (Bochum) - Kalenderwoche 23
Martina received her Ph.D. and Habilitation for the University of Bonn in Experimental Physics and holds since 1998 a Chair of Physical Chemistry at the Ruhr University in Bochum. She initiated 2012 the DFG funded Cluster of Excellence "Ruhr Explores Solvation" (RESOLV) and the Center of Molecular Spectroscopy and Simulation of Solvent Controlled Processes (ZEMOS) and is since then the director. She has developed new infrared (IR) and terahertz (THz) laser technologies to explore fundamental questions in chemistry. Her research area is solvation science which aims to provide a unifying framework for understanding and predicting solvent processes. She explores linear and nonlinear THz spectroscopic methods and THz calorimetry. Furthermore, she has a focus on microsolvation and ultracold chemistry.
Foto-Rechte: RUB, Marquard
M.Sc. Katharina Wolk (Mainz) - Kalenderwoche 22
Katharina just finished her Master studies at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in the field of materials science and spintronics. In the Kläui Lab, under the supervision of apl. Prof. Martin Jourdan, she focused on the growth and characterization of epitaxial Gadolinium Bismuth thin films for spin Hall effect investigations. Katharina’s research, supported by the Deutschlandstipendium, is part of a long-term endeavor to identify new materials with large spin Hall angles for next-generation low-power data storage technologies. Besides her studies, she works as a student assistant in the TWIST Group of Prof. Karin Everschor-Sitte at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Interested in advanced nanoscale imaging techniques and domain walls, she is excited to visit the research group of Prof. Dennis Meier at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology with an Erasmus scholarship.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Katharina Wolk
M.Sc. Nina Stiesdal (Bonn) - Kalenderwoche 20
Nina was a Ph.D. student at the University of Southern Denmark (she was enrolled as a student in Denmark until the end of February 2022), where she has worked for most of her Ph.D. in experimental quantum optics. In May last year, she moved with her project to the University of Bonn. Last week, she successfully defended her thesis and will receive her Ph.D. diploma soon.
The focus of her Ph.D. research has been the experimental manipulation of weak pulses of light on the quantum level. This is realized experimentally with ultracold atoms, which are excited to Rydberg states. Rydberg states are highly excited atomic states with very interesting properties. One of these properties is that these atomic states are very sensitive to other high excitations. This sensitivity gives rise to strong interactions between Rydberg excitations, and they can translate these excitations back to the single light quanta.
In her project, she has mainly worked with single Rydberg excitations, but in a setting where the single Rydberg excitation is shared between many atoms. The shared excitation gives rise to an enhancement of atom-light coupling, and she uses this to create what they call Rydberg superatoms, which are many atoms acting together as single two-level systems.
You can read more about her research here.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Nina Stiesdal
Dr. Annika Schmitt (Jena) - Kalenderwoche 19
Annika is a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena in the field of X-ray optics. She and her colleagues are developing highly sensitive polarimeters for X-ray radiation. Their goal is to experimentally demonstrate the scattering of light by light via a change in polarization at the European XFEL. This phenomenon was already predicted in the early days of quantum electrodynamics. In her doctoral thesis, she used the high sensitivity of our X-ray polarimeters to spectroscopically investigate materials for polarization changes that allow conclusions to be drawn about their electronic and magnetic structure. For their research, they regularly perform experiments at synchrotron radiation sources such as PETRA III in Hamburg, the ESRF in Grenoble, and the European XFEL.
Foto-Rechte: Heiner Müller-Elsner/laif
M.Sc. Lena Klaas (Cologne) - Kalenderwoche 18
Lena is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Future Fuels at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). She studied Physics at the University of Cologne and specialized in experimental solid-state physics. During her Ph.D., she focuses on investigating the correlation between structure and redox performance of perovskites. These perovskites are applied in thermochemical cycles whose energy demand can be covered entirely by solar radiation. Thus, thermochemical cycles enable more sustainable production of important gases such as hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. The redox behavior, namely the kinetic and thermodynamic material properties, determines the required conditions, such as the temperature, and thus the applicability of such cycles. She is inspired by the combination of a fundamental understanding of a material's properties and the sustainable applicability of that material.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Lena Klaas
B.Sc. Cecilia Fruet (Tübingen) - Kalenderwoche 17
Cecilia is a Master’s student in Physics, enrolled in a Double Degree Program between the Universities of Trento (Italy), and Tübingen. She has a strong interest in the theoretical and computational physics of soft and biological matter.
She is currently working on her Master’s thesis project as a Guest Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen, Department of Protein Evolution, under joint supervision of Professors A. N. Lupas, M. Oettel, R. Potestio and their research groups. There, she is investigating through computational simulations the role of a protein in the export of capsular polysaccharides, which are molecules forming the bacterial capsule, a polysaccharide protective layer located outside the cell envelope.
The relevance of this research area stems from the fact that the elucidation of the capsular polysaccharides export mechanism might lead to a better understanding of the process of building bacterial capsules, which are the chief causative agents of the virulence of bacteria.
Foto-Rechte: B.Sc. Cecilia Fruet
M.Sc. Lisa Schlüter (Munich) - Kalenderwoche 16
Lisa is a Ph.D. student at the Max-Planck Institute for Physics and the Technical University of Munich in the field of experimental Astroparticle Physics. Her research project focuses on neutrinos. Even though neutrinos are the most abundant matter particles in our universe, their mass is still unknown. The KArlsruhe TRitium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment is designed to tackle this challenge by observing the radioactive beta decay of Tritium. The tiny mass of the neutrino leaves a minuscule imprint in the energy spectrum of the electron that is emitted alongside the neutrino. In her Ph.D. project, Lisa contributes to the statistical analysis of KATRIN data. For instance, she estimates the influence of systematic effects on the experimental spectrum through extensive Monte Carlo simulations. Exploring KATRINs full physics potential, Lisa is also involved in the search for sterile neutrinos, a hypothetical new kind of neutrino that does not participate in the weak interaction.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Lisa Schlüter
Dr. Hendrike Braun (Kassel) - Kalenderwoche 15
Hendrike is a postdoctoral researcher in the experimental physics group Femtosecond spectroscopy and Ultrafast Laser Control at the University of Kassel. She studies electronic coherences and their control in atoms and molecules using shaped femtosecond laser pulses. She leads the project "Coherent control of circular dichroism in ion yield after excitation of chiral molecules with tailored femtosecond laser pulses" within the CRC 1319 ELCH (Sonderforschungsbereich), in which the possibility to enhance chiral signatures by interaction with bespoke laser pulses is explored.
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Hendrike Braun
Dr. Joanna Drążkowska (Munich) - Kalenderwoche 14
Joanna works in the area of theoretical astrophysics, and her projects are focused on unveiling the origins of Earth and other planets. She uses numerical models to understand processes taking place in disks surrounding young stars, where tiny dust grains stick together and form the building blocks of planets. She is currently a postdoc at LMU Munich, but she will start her own research group this year thanks to the recently won ERC Starting Grant.
The photo shows her in the University Observatory of the LMU Munich.
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Joanna Drążkowska
Prof. Dr. Astrid Lambrecht (Jülich/Aachen) - Kalenderwoche 13
Astrid is a quantum physicist with special interest in quantum optics, quantum fluctuations, and fluctuation-induced forces. Her research focuses on the Casimir-Effect, which manifests itself as an attractive force between two parallel and uncharged plates in vacuum, and which may have applications in micro-electro-mechanic systems used in smart devices, airbags, or printers. Understanding the role of the Casimir-Effect in physics-inspired questions in other fields, such as biology and chemistry, is her special interest.
Astrid joined the Board of Directors of Forschungszentrum Jülich in 2021 [Pressreport] and currently holds a professorship at RWTH Aachen University. At Forschungszentrum Jülich, she oversees the Scientific Division I, which focuses on physics and information technology-related research.
Foto-Rechte: Prof. Dr. Astrid Lambrecht
Dr. Laila Linke (Bonn) - Kalenderwoche 12
Laila is a postdoctoral researcher at the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie of Bonn University. Her research focuses on gravitational lensing. This effect describes how matter distorts light rays and, thereby, the images of distant galaxies. By measuring this distortion, we can map the distribution of dark matter in the Universe. Laila studies how we can use the observed statistical properties of the matter distribution to infer how the Universe expands and how matter clumps together. These insights can shed light on the nature of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy in the upcoming surveys by the Euclid Space Telescope and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. Aside from her research, Laila shares her love of science with the public. She co-founded the event series Astronomy On Tap Bonn, bringing astronomical research to the pub(lic). She is also an author for astrobites.org, where she summarizes recent research papers for undergraduate students.
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Laila Linke
Dr. Michaela Arnold (Darmstadt) - Kalenderwoche 11
Michaela is an accelerator scientist at TU Darmstadt, working as head of the superconducting, 130-MeV electron accelerator S-DALINAC at the institute for nuclear physics. Her research focuses on the technology for energy recovery for particle accelerators which is essential for future large-scale particle colliders. An energy-recovery linear accelerator (ERL) can decelerate a previously accelerated beam downstream of the interaction point and recover nearly all of the energy needed for previous acceleration. This technique can increase the intensities significantly while maintaining feasible power costs and ecologically responsible energy consumption. Michaela and her team managed to operate the S-DALINAC as the first ERL in Germany in 2017. Recently, they achieved the first successful twice-recirculating ERL operation with measured energy recovery of 80%. It is the first time that such an energy-recovery effect could be demonstrated at beam currents exceeding the microampere level in superconducting multi-turn accelerators.
Michaela was awarded the DPG Young Scientist Award for Accelerator Physics in 2021 for her work in the field of ERLs. She is the principal investigator of various research projects on ERLs, e.g., funded by the DFG (Research Training Group GRK 2128) or by the State of Hesse (Research Cluster ELEMENTS). The photo shows her in the accelerator hall of S-DALINAC, checking the resistance of magnet coils.
Foto-Rechte: Jan-Christoph Hartung
M.Sc. Vanessa Nadig (Aachen) - Kalenderwoche 10
Vanessa is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Physics of Molecular Imaging Systems (PMI), led by Prof. Dr. Volkmar Schulz, which is part of the Institute of Experimental Molecular Imaging at RWTH Aachen University and University Hospital Aachen. She studies novel solid-state photon-detector concepts for positron emission tomography (PET). PET is a nuclear imaging method that plays a key role in diagnosing and treating cancer and emerging methods for the early detection of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer's. It is based on detecting two collinear 511 keV gamma photons with heavy inorganic scintillators coupled to photo-sensors, which are read out by dedicated microelectronics. Vanessa works on all three components along the detection chain to substantially improve PET systems' timing resolution. This is essential for a high signal-to-noise ratio in the recorded data and thus can considerably improve PET images and reduce scan time for patients. Vanessa's primary focus is to develop system-applicable detector blocks with sub-100 ps resolution, working closely with Dr. Stefan Gundacker and having shown that such precision is physically possible on dedicated benchtop systems. At the same time, Vanessa investigates methods to gather information about the exact location of gamma conversion in the commonly large scintillators, which can be used for boosting the time resolution even further. She is currently developing novel concepts combining timing and spatial information to integrate these solutions in large-scale, clinical positron emission tomographs.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Vanessa Nadig
M.Sc. Antonia Barghoorn (Freiburg) - Kalenderwoche 9
After studying Physics at the Technical University in Berlin, Antonia moved to Freiburg, where she is working as a Ph.D. student at the Medical Physics department of the Universitätsklinikum Freiburg. Her research focus is pulse sequence development for ultra-fast functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which investigates the activity of the human brain during various tasks or in rest. Functional MRI is based on the changes in oxygen consumption and regional cerebral blood flow after activation-this results in local changes in deoxyhemoglobin concentration and is detectable with MRI. In particular, Antonia is helping with the development of MR-Encephalography, which allows 3D whole-brain imaging at a temporal resolution of 100 ms. Compared with conventional fMRI pulse sequences, the increased sampling rate has recently led to the distinct identification of cardiovascular, respiratory, and vasomotor pulsation mechanisms of the human glymphatic system, showing potential for neurodegenerative disease research. Further benefits include the direct filtering of high-frequency physiological noise and a more precise analysis of the onset and shape of the hemodynamic response function.
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Antonia Barghoorn
Dr. habil. Dana Zöllner (Magdeburg) - Kalenderwoche 8
Dana is a materials scientist at the Otto-von-Guericke-University in Magdeburg who uses numerical and analytical methods to study microstructure-property relationships in various materials from nanocrystalline gold to molluscan shells based on experimental measurements. Her research focuses mainly on changes of microstructural defects such as crystalline interfaces, i.e., grain boundaries due to deformation and thermal annealing processes, improving our understanding of materials, and laying a foundation for the development of new materials.
As of September 2020, Dana is a coordinator of the Graduate Academy of the Otto-von-Guericke-University, where she focuses on promoting young postdoctoral fellows on their career paths.
Dana Zöllner is also an Otto Mønsted guest professor at the Danish Technical University in Lyngby.
Foto-Rechte: Dr. habil. Dana Zöllner
Dr. Antje Peters (Münster) - Kalenderwoche 7
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Antje Peters
M.Sc. Helena Frazão (Rostock/Warnemünde) - Kalenderwoche 6
Foto-Rechte: M.Sc. Helena Frazão
Dr. Pushparani Micheal Raj (Garching/Munich) - Kalenderwoche 5
Foto-Rechte: Dr. Pushparani Micheal Raj
Prof. Dr. Susanne Mertens (Munich) - Kalenderwoche 4
Foto-Rechte: Prof. Dr. Susanne Mertens
Prof. Dr. Joanna Waniek (Rostock/Warnemünde) - Kalenderwoche 3
Joanna is a physical oceanographer by training. She is a professor (apl.) at University Rostock and works at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde. Her working group studies the interactions between biological and physical processes in the ocean on different time and space scales. Of special interest are those physical processes which influence the production, modification, and sedimentation of particles in the water column of the world ocean. In their research, they are considering both the natural and the anthropogenic particles. Most of their research activities are carried out in the Northeast Atlantic and in the Baltic Sea, as well as in the South China Sea. Their recent Sino-German project Megacity’s fingerprint in Chinese southern marginal seas: Investigation of pollutant fingerprints and dispersal aims to study the marine environmental conditions in an area spanning from the northern shelf in proximity to the Pearl River of the South China Sea towards the deep sea. The area is an excellent natural model laboratory to study the exchange processes between the land and the ocean (Pearl River), the variability of physical forcing (monsoon, circulation), the drastically increasing anthropogenic stressors (nutrients/eutrophication, organic contaminants, microplastic, antibiotics) following the development of a coastal megacity. Their research aims to improve our understanding of the complex interactions between land, the coastal ocean, and the open ocean and their resulting alterations due to the effects of climate variability and anthropogenic stressors in a highly sensitive ecosystem.
The photo shows her on board the research vessel Poseidon checking the functionality of the CTD (Conductivity-Temperature-Depth) rosette system.
Foto-Rechte: Prof. Dr. Joanna Waniek
Prof. Dr. Karoline Wiesner (Potsdam) - Kalenderwoche 2
Foto-Rechte: Thomas Roese
Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann (Freiburg) - Kalenderwoche 1
Foto-Rechte: Prof. Dr. Beate Heinemann