A ceremony will mark the official start of the work of the STRUCTURES Cluster of Excellence at Heidelberg University. Members of the university as well as the public are invited to learn more about the cluster’s fields of endeavour and scientific goals. STRUCTURES was chosen for funding in September last year within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments. The opening ceremony will take place in the Great Hall of the New University on Monday, 15 July 2019, starting at 3:00pm.
The Cluster of Excellence STRUCTURES - A unifying approach to emergent phenomena in the physical world, mathematics, and complex data - focuses on the formation, role, and detection of universal structures across a broad range of natural phenomena, from subatomic particle physics and cosmology to fundamental quantum physics and neuroscience. Why are there planets and not just dust in the vicinity of stars? How can we understand neuronal activity patterns in the brain and how does self-organisation work in biophysical systems?
What these phenomena all have in common is their foundation in physical processes. The cluster aims to analyse these processes over wide time and length scales to uncover the relevant structures within the data. One challenge is the analysis of the massive amounts of data. To do this, the Heidelberg researchers will combine mathematical theory, large-scale numerical simulation, and physical computation, with the goal of developing novel analogue computers. Spokespersons for the Cluster of Excellence are Manfred Salmhofer (Institute for Theoretical Physics), Anna Wienhard (Mathematical Institute), and Ralf S. Klessen (Centre for Astronomy).
Heidelberg University Rector Bernhard Eitel will open the ceremony along with the three spokespersons of the Cluster of Excellence. The mathematical art object, Gömböc, will then be presented to Heidelberg University. The object is based on a three-dimensional body with special properties that always return it to its stable point of equilibrium. Gömböc was discovered by the Hungarian mathematician Gábor Domokos, who will talk about his discovery and present Ruperto Carola with "Gömböc 1386", designed especially for the university.
After a general introduction to STRUCTURES by Prof. Salmhofer, Sara Konrad, Rüdiger Klingeler, Mareike Pfeil, and Carsten Rother will give four brief academic presentations on the various fields of work of the cluster. The talks are geared to a general audience and address a broad spectrum of topics including quantum physics, astrophysics, new concepts of machine learning, and the role of abstract mathematics for specific problems.