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Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging

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The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) is a research facility established in the context of the Universities Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments. The multidisciplinary and interinstitutional cluster is located at Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany, and has been initiated on 1 November 2012. The funding with €25 million by the German Research Foundation will run until 31. October 2017. Scientific teams cooperating in the cluster come from the Universität Hamburg, the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), the European XFEL GmbH (XFEL), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and the newly founded Max-Planck-Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD).



The fundamental research at CUI aims to analyze chemical and physical processes in the field of photon and nano science: About 150 involved scientists investigate the chronological sequence of movements related to reactions and processes at the interface of quantum physics, molecular biology and nanochemistry.

The aim is to watch structural changes of systems in action and draw conclusions about the relation between structure and dynamics and how they facilitate the control of atomic systems. In this respect three research areas are regarded. In the field of "Imaging and Control of Quantum Systems", systems of different size, ranging from small molecules up to volume systems, are investigated with respect to their dynamic quantum mechanical properties, especially regarding their interaction with surrounding light fields. In the second research field "Atomically Resolved Structural Dynamics", CUI regards structural changes of macrobiological and biochemical systems on atomic and temporal levels. In the third topic of research the "Dynamics of Order Formation on the Nanoscale" are investigated.


The cluster’s spokespersons are:

  • R. J. Dwayne Miller, Max-Planck-Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter
  • Horst Weller, Universität Hamburg, Institute of Physical Chemistry
  • Klaus Sengstock, Universität Hamburg, Institute of Laser-Physics
  • Teachings and Support

    A graduate school with an international, interdisciplinary PhD-program is embedded within the cluster of excellence. The school lab "Light and Schools" cooperates with numerous schools in Hamburg and offers the opportunity to explore basic research and modern laser technology outside the classroom. The school lab is supported by the Joachim Herz Foundation.

    Prizes and Awards

    In collaboration with the Joachim Herz Foundation, CUI awards the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics, honoring outstanding contributions in the fields of atoms, molecules and quantum optics, as well as condensed matter with a prize-money of 40,000 €. In addition the cluster organizes the Mildred-Dresselhaus Guest Professorship Program with an award including prize-money of 20,000 (senior scientist), respectively 10,000 € (junior scientist), in order to recruit designated female scientist to spend a research period in Hamburg as role models for women.

    Awardees for the Hamburg Prize for Theoretical Physics

  • Maciej Lewenstein, ICFO Barcelona, Spain (2010)
  • Peter Zoller, Universität Innsbruck, Austria (2011)
  • Shaul Mukamel, University of California, USA (2012)
  • Chris H. Greene, Purdue University, USA (2013)
  • Antoine Georges, Collège de France, École Polytechnique, Universität Genf, France/Switzerland (2014)
  • Ignacio Cirac, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching (Munich), Germany (2015)
  • Mikhail Katsnelson (2016)
  • Awardees Mildred Dresselhaus Award

  • Tamar Seideman, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA (2013)
  • Rosario González-Férez, Universidad de Granada, Spain (2013)
  • Roseanne Sension, University of Michigan, USA (2014)
  • Anouk Rijs, Radoud Universiteit, Netherlands (2014)
  • Prof. Dr. Elspeth Garman, University of Oxford, England (2015)
  • Dr. Liesbeth Janssen, Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf, Germany (2015)
  • Prof. Cristiane Morais Smith (2016)
  • Dr. Friederike Ernst (2016)
  • References

    Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging Wikipedia

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