Research at the Institute of Applied Physics
The research focus of the institute is applied physics, where nonlinear phenomena - nonlinear physics - are of great importance. Nonlinearities are among the most important fundamental phenomena in nature. They are therefore of extraordinary importance for the entire natural sciences and mathematics, but also for numerous current fields of application in information technology, nanotechnology, material sciences, biology and medicine. The research focus of the institute lies precisely in this area of tension between basic research and applications.
Due to the enormous complexity of the behavior of nonlinear systems, they are still poorly understood. Therefore, the understanding of nonlinear, complex systems is one of the great scientific challenges of this century. For this reason alone, the work of the Institute in the field of "Nonlinear Physics" has a particularly strong future perspective. In addition, there are countless nonlinear phenomena, effects and structures in application-oriented areas of physics that can be profitably exploited for new application concepts. These include lasers, electronic and photonic devices, bio- and nanotechnological materials, or communication and production processes.
Through the targeted use of nonlinear physical effects, new perspectives are being developed in the application of numerous technologically relevant fields such as semiconductor physics, plasma physics and optics. This orientation will continue to be of outstanding importance in nonlinear physics in the future, since nonlinear phenomena are playing an increasingly important role in the most important future-oriented cross-sectional technologies of the beginning century, namely optical technologies and nanotechnologies.
Under the umbrella term "Nonlinear Science", complex nonlinear phenomena are among the pioneering cross-cutting topics in the natural sciences with a strong impact on other fields. It is therefore not surprising that Nonlinear Science is one of seven topics identified by the German Physical Society as having a particularly promising future. The US National Research Council has also named the topic "Nonlinear Science understanding complex systems" in second place among the six most important physical challenges of the new century, and the European Union has taken the importance of the topic into account in its sixth framework program in the area of "New and Emerging Technologies" with a new initiative "Tackling Complexity in Science".
While Nonlinear Science is treated almost exclusively theoretically at other locations, the experimental area has a special weight at the University of Münster.
The research groups of the institute can be found on this page.