Excellence Projects

Faculty 08 is involved in the following Excellence Projects:

Cluster of Excellence Precision Physics, Fundamental Interactions and Structure of Matter (PRISMA)

The Cluster of Excellence PRISMA addresses the basic questions about the nature of the fundamental building blocks of matter and their importance for the physics of the universe. PRISMA consists of renowned research groups that work primarily in the areas of astroparticle, high energy and hadron physics, nuclear chemistry as well as precision physics with ultra-cold neutrons and ion traps. Conducting various new key experiments to study the fundamental forces and limits of the Standard Model is one of the main initiatives of the Cluster. PRISMA is divided into four research fields and four structural measures.

Research Field A – Fundamental Interactions is concerned with the indirect search for new physics. The most important structural measures are the construction of a superconducting energy-recovering accelerator (MESA) and the expansion of the existing TRIGA reactor to a user facility designed for the world's most powerful source of ultra-cold neutrons. Participation in international large-scale projects such as the ATLAS experiment, the IceCube Neutrino Telescope, and the XENON Project to search for dark matter is the foundation for Research Field B – The Origin of Mass, which deals with the search for the Higgs boson, WIMPs, and other particles in Standard Model extensions. Research Field C – The Structure of Matter is concerned with studying the complex internal structure of hadrons, which will be particularly promoted through the establishment of a research center on the analysis of hadron structure. The methods of theoretical physics are at the core of Research Field D. The planned Mainz Center for Theoretical Physics (MITP) is to assume the role of an international theoretical center in Germany for the long term. The PRISMA Detector Laboratory is another structural target for joint innovative detector construction and development of the entire Cluster.

PRISMA (go to website)

Graduate School of Excellence Materials Science in Mainz (MAINZ)

The Graduate School of Excellence “Materials Science in Mainz” (MAINZ) offers innovative scientific, technical and complementary PhD training combined with excellent research in materials science. MAINZ bridges previously disjoint fields of research, ranging from simple model systems and correlated materials to functional polymers, hybrid structures and bio-related materials. This allows MAINZ members to develop a common language, to foster interdisciplinary transfer of know­ledge, and to gain insight into systems traditionally seen as separate.

MAINZ has gained a strong international reputation in materials science since its implementation in 2007. Since then more than 90 PhD students have graduated from MAINZ. Our students are supervised by excellent scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P), and the University of Kaiserslautern (TUKL). Based on this success, the main training objective of MAINZ remains to provide a flexible graduate program that meets the individual needs of our PhD students. Our training concept combines Training through Research with Training for Life to offer compre­hensive education for future professionals in academia, industry, and beyond. MAINZ provides training in the areas of Advanced Synthesis and Characterization as well as Theory and Simulations. In future, we will shift our focus from fundamental research towards application of knowledge and will extend our training program by the application-relevant fields of Processing and Method Development. This will be supported by our strong links to industrial partners and will be complemented by related skills courses. By exposing its members to diverse fields of materials science and bringing together seemingly disjunct ideas and concepts, MAINZ encourages creativity and inspires novel associations between its research areas. This will result in sustained excellent research and comprehensive training necessary to meet key societal challenges ahead.

The international PhD students will have the possibility to receive a mentor from academia or industry, who provides advice and support on their academic and personal progress. Seminars, excursions, lab courses, scientific workshops with international lecturers as well as summer schools, international conferences and publications are well adjusted. Besides the scientific training, complementary skills are also trained.

Detailed information about the graduate school (e.g. the research areas, the application process, the training program, the supervision concept) can be found here:

MAINZ (go to website)