Fundamental Research

Im Mittelpunkt des Fachbereichs Physik steht die Grundlagenforschung.
The research activities of the Department of Physics are rooted in fundamental research. Image Credit: Bernd Wannenmacher

As one of the classic basic sciences, physics is a core subject among the natural sciences at Freie Universität Berlin. The Department of Physics is divided into the areas of Experimental Physics, Theoretical Physics, and Physics Education.

News from Mar 18, 2015

The research activities of the Department of Physics are rooted in fundamental research. The main research areas include solid-state physics, cluster physics, surface physics, biophysics, and physics education. Research foci include, for example, the investigation of the fundamental properties of nanomaterials and the elementary processes and properties of proteins, atoms, and molecules on surfaces. For the various groups within theoretical physics, the Dahlem Center for Complex Quantum Systems provides a forum for scientific exchange and the coordination, as well as initiation, of joint research activities at the cutting edge of international research. Joint professorships, together with the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the Max Born Institute, expand the spectrum of topics covered by the Department.

Studying Physics at Freie Universität

The Department of Physics introduced the bachelor/master system of degree programs with modularized courses during the 2004/2005 winter semester, when the first students aiming to become physics teachers in secondary schools were able to enroll in the program. As of 2006 students were accepted into the Bachelor of Science degree program and as of 2009, the Master of Science program. There are currently about 800 students enrolled in one of these programs. Mathematics, computer science, and chemistry play a major role for physics students. The buildings housing all of these subjects are in close proximity to the physics building on the Dahlem campus of Freie Universität.

Partner in Research and Teaching

The Department of Physics is involved in numerous interdisciplinary research groups. One of them is the NanoScale Focus Area of Freie Universität.  In addition, the Department cooperates closely with research institutes from other universities as well as independent research institutions in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. In two of the DFG-funded Collaborative Research Centers (CRC), the Department functions as the host university: CRC 658, Elementary Processes in Molecular Switches at Surfaces and CRC 1078, Protonation Dynamics in Protein Function.

Cooperation with Schools

The Department of Physics has numerous connections to elementary and secondary schools in Berlin. Aiming to augment the traditional physics instruction for school students, it utilizes various means such as lectures and visits to the laboratories at the university to inform both school students and teachers about new trends in physics. In 2003 the Department set up a special laboratory (PhysLab), where groups of school students at different age levels can conduct experiments.

Academic Departments

Central Institutes