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  • Carbon content in soil influences climate models

    Climate change: How does soil store CO2?

    Distribution of organic matter in soil: carbon tends to bind to specific rough mineral surfaces, known as hot spots (yellow areas).

    Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise – in 2012 alone, 35.7 billion tons of this greenhouse gas entered the atmosphere*. Some of this CO2 is absorbed by the oceans, plants and soil. As such, they provide a significant reservoir of carbon, stemming the release of CO2. Scientists have now discovered how organic carbon is stored in soil. Basically, the carbon only binds to certain soil structures. This means that soil’s capacity to absorb CO2 needs to be re-assessed and incorporated into today’s climate models.

  • Potential pathway for drug development using photoreactions:

    Targeted synthesis of natural products with light

    The bulky Lewis acid (above) shields one side of the substrate (bottom) pushing the photoreaction in to the direction of the desired product. - Graphics: Richard Brimioulle / TUM

    Photoreactions are driven by light energy and are vital to the synthesis of many natural substances. Since many of these substances are also useful as active medical agents, chemists try to produce them synthetically. But in most cases only one of the possible products has the right spatial structure to make it effective. Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now developed a methodology for one of these photoreactions that allows them to produce only the specific molecular variant desired.

  • Ultrasound tomography reveals damage zones underneath meteor craters

    Close-up on impact craters

    Ultrasound tomograph of a sandstone after impact of a meteorite model

    Meteorites create more of an impact than the visible crater on the surface of the earth. Cracks and fissures occur underneath the impact site, too, and vary according to the size, power and impact angle of the celestial body. Up to now, geophysicists have not been able to accurately measure the true extent of these damage sites. Scientists from Technische Universität München (TUM) are currently trying to gain a better understanding of how craters are formed. Their work involves smashing miniature meteorites into rock under laboratory conditions – and then analyzing the craters using ultrasound tomography.

  • The city of Burghausen and TU München seal their partnership

    Science finds its way into the Raitenhaslach Monastery

    Raitenhaslach Monastery at the Salzach becomes a new academic location of the TUM – Photo: Wolfgang Hopfgartner / City of Burghausen

    The contract is signed: The city of Burghausen and the Technische Universität München (TUM) agreed today, in the presence of Secretary of Science Bernd Sibler, that the so-called prelate floor of the former Cistercian Monastery Raitenhaslach shall be devoted to science. Now the TUM Science & Study Center Raitenhaslach can be implemented. Burghausen will thus become a permanent academic location of the university.

  • X-ray examination shows structural changes in organic solar cells

    Solar cell degradation observed directly for the first time

    Internal structure of the active layer of the polymer solar cell: The orange areas represent the active domains, where light is absorbed and charge carriers are released. - Image: TUM

    With the help of DESY’s X-ray light source PETRA III, researchers of Technische Universität München have, for the first time, watched organic solar cells degrade in real time. This work could open new approaches to increasing the stability of this highly promising type of solar cell. The team headed by Prof. Peter Müller-Buschbaum from the Technische Universität München present their observations in this week's issue of the scientific journal Advanced Materials.

  • Nanowire lasers could work with silicon chips, optical fibers, even living cells

    Laser light at useful wavelengths from semiconductor nanowires

    Nanowire laser researchers in the laboratory

    Thread-like semiconductor structures called nanowires, so thin that they are effectively one-dimensional, show potential as lasers for applications in computing, communications, and sensing. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have demonstrated laser action in semiconductor nanowires that emit light at technologically useful wavelengths and operate at room temperature. They now have documented this breakthrough in the journal Nature Communications and, in Nano Letters, have disclosed further results showing enhanced optical and electronic performance.

  • Researchers investigate the role end users play in driving sustainable product development

    From passive consumers to sustainable entrepreneurs

    Woman at a market stand

    From green electricity tariffs to car sharing schemes, many sustainable products and services were being brought to market by enthusiastic start-ups. More consumers than ever are turning their hands to business in a bid to solve social and environmental problems. However, there has been relatively little research into how and why individuals take this step and whether their start-ups become a success. Fourteen European research institutes coordinated by Technische Universität München (TUM) will be investigating this trend to see what potential it holds for a sustainable economy. They will also be looking at how established companies engage end users in the development of sustainable products. The project will receive EUR 4.7 million in funding from the EU.

  • Germany significantly above OECD average in all three areas for the first time

    PISA 2012: Improved performance in mathematics, science and reading

    Pupil at school

    Germany finished in the top ten of all 34 OECD countries in the mathematics test, the focus of the new PISA study. This positive development is mainly owed to an improvement in the quality of school exercises and approaches to the curriculum. The percentage of students performing very poorly has fallen. German 15-year-olds also scored very highly in science and in reading skills. There has been a considerable improvement in performance among students from socioeconomically disadvantaged households. Germany is one of the few countries to have improved continuously since the first round of PISA tests. At the national level, PISA 2012 was coordinated by Prof. Manfred Prenzel from TUM.