The physicist, Prof. Dr. Alexander Lichtenstein of the University of Hamburg and a team of researchers, have been awarded EUR 8 million in funding from the European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant. The six-year grant for “outstanding research groups” will allow Lichenstein, Prof. Dr. Olle Eriksson from Sweden and Prof. Dr. Mikhail Katsnelson from the Netherlands to develop new theoretical foundations to close knowledge gaps that have arisen in experiments with the X-ray laser European XFEL.
Closing knowledge gaps
“The approval of the ERC Synergy Grant is a great success for the university’s concept of working with large, non-university research institutions such as European XFEL to address issues in which skills and institutions are co-operatively linked,” said Prof. Dr. Dieter Lenzen, President of Hamburg University. Scientists need a theoretical framework, which is linked to experimental work to understand the results of experiments. Yet, many of the required physical theories are lacking at present. The Ultrafast Dynamics of Correlated Electrons in Solids (FASTCORR) project, which is funded by the ERC, aims to close this knowledge gap.
Experiments with modern sources of light such as the European XFEL can yield results from entirely new states of matter, which change the understanding of light-matter interaction. Materials known as correlated electron systems are of particular interest. These result from interactions between individual electrons in a solid state. The ERC Synergy Grant research team, led by Lichtenstein, aims to develop software applications that can interpret and predict ultrafast phenomena in correlated electron systems and process large amounts of data.