We* are coordinating a program at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara in the period Mar 27, 2023 — May 19, 2023 on the topic nanoparticle assemblies. Applications can still be entered here:

Nanoparticle Assemblies: A New Form of Matter with Classical Structure and Quantum Function

*Coordinators: Michael Engel, Laura Na Liu, Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Eran Rabani, and Alex Travesset

Materials whose elementary building blocks are nanoparticles with dimensions between a few and hundred nanometers, such as nanocrystals and colloids, instead of atoms or molecules, provide a new form of matter, with many properties, both in structure and function, that are not achievable with traditional materials. This raises a number of new fundamental questions such as:

  • What is the minimal physical description at the nanoscale?
  • How to discover new assemblies?
  • What are the effects or properties for these new materials and the characterization of equilibrium and metastability?

The program will bring together scientists from diverse communities: physicists, chemists and material scientists in an effort to address the emerging fundamental questions and long-term prospects of this young field. It will develop collaborative efforts in the areas of programmable assembly, structure prediction, inverse methods, electronic properties and new functional materials, with the goal of becoming a reference for the exciting future ahead.

Michael Engel attended the 50 year celebration of CECAM in Lausanne, Switzerland. CECAM (Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire) is the longest standing European Institute for the promotion of fundamental research on advanced computational methods and their application to problems in frontier areas of science and technology.

As the conference demonstrated, simulations are more relevant than ever due to advances in computer hardware and, even more importantly, advances in simulation algorithms. Recent trends particularly well covered in Lausanne were the topics ‘Machine Learning’ and ‘Neural Networks’. Even though being a blind follower can easily lead astray, there are huge possibilities with the right strategy.

Lake Geneva from Lausanne harbor at sunset.

Several members of the lab traveled to present and promote their newest research results at conferences throughout Germany:

Michael Engel presented the opening lecture at the ICMS conference “Quasicrystals: pattern formation and aperiodic order” in Edinburgh. This conference brought together four different research communities to advance the understanding of quasicrystals and aperiodic order: (i) quasicrystals in materials science, (ii) quasicrystals in soft matter, (iii) quasicrystals in partial differential equations and (iv) quasicrystals in aperiodic tilings.

Michael Engel provided an overview talk about the theory and simulation of quasicrystals at the workshop of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 762: Functionality of Oxide Interfaces at Benedictine Abbey of Frauenwörth. The Benedictine abbey of Frauenwörth was founded by the Duke of Bavaria Tassilo III around 772 AD.

The island Frauenchiemsee with the abbey Frauenwörth from the shore of Chiemsee. It was quite cold (-10C) and crystallization at the liquid-air interface was observed (coincidentally a topic of the scientific talk).

Alberto Leonardi, Chrameh Mbah and Michael Engel present their recent research results at two conferences. The International Congress Engineering of Advanced Materials (ICEAM) held 10-12 Oct 2017 was the concluding event of the EAM Excellence Cluster and gathers national and international researchers in the field. The Particle-Based Materials Symposium (PBM) on 9-10 Nov 2017 at the Leibnitz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken brings together expertise from all over Germany.

This year Michael Engel traveled again to the USA with stops at the University of Michigan and Indiana University. Also, part of the stay was the observation of the total solar eclipse in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sunrise from Rocky Top.
Partial eclipse through the clouds.
Near total eclipse.

The Ferienakademie is a summer school with a long tradition organized by three universities in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. It is an excellent opportunity to spend two weeks in late summer/early fall in the Tyrol mountains (northern Italy) to learn and explore science, coding, and nature.

This year Nils Thurey (TU Munich), Miriam Mehl (Uni Stuttgart), and Michael Engel are offering a course on the topic “Creating Animations by Machine Learning and Simulation” to Master’s students in computer science, engineering, math, physics, and chemistry.

The dates of the course are: 17.09. – 29.09.2017.
Application is now open until 9 May 2017.

More information can be found at:
PDF: Ferienakademie-Plakat-2017
www: http://www.ferienakademie.de/