The world is not static. This simple perception directly leads to one of the greatest challenges of modern science: observing the movement of the elementary building blocks of nature.
Ultrafast Processes in Slow Motion
Atoms, molecules and electrons move, form bonds between each other and break apart unimaginably fast. Scientists at “The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging” (CUI) observe and try to understand these ultrafast processes directly on the atomic level of detail. The cluster of excellence “The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging – Structure, Dynamics and Control of Matter at the Atomic Scale” was funded from 1. November 2012 until 31. December 2018. It is succeeded by the new cluster “CUI: Advanced Imaging of Matter”, which started operating on 1 January 2019.
Observe, understand, control
Functionalities are at the heart of the cluster of excellence „Advanced Imaging of Matter“. Atoms bind together and form solids, molecules interact and react – new functionalities emerge with increasing complexity and growing system size. 160 scientists from different disciplines such as physics, chemistry, and structural biology have joined forces to observe, understand, and control these processes. Teams of Universität Hamburg cooperate with scientists of the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), and the European XFEL GmbH (XFEL).
The above photo shows the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) on Campus Bahrenfeld where part of the cluster’s scientists do their research (Credit: CUI, Adler).