Profile Area Space, Time & Matter

Mission Statement

The profile area "Space, Time & Matter" explores the physical and mathematical foundations of the natural sciences: from the elementary building blocks of matter, to the interaction of the building blocks in solids, artificially producible quantum materials, the atmosphere and Earth's interior, planets and neutron stars. This requires mathematically precise models and efficient algorithms for the numerical exploration.


"Space, time, and matter are the basic building blocks of any scientific theory and are explored in their most fascinating manifestations in this Profile Area."

Luciano Rezzolla (Theoretical Astrophysics),
Spokesperson of the Profile Area "Space, Time & Matter"
Maria Roser Valenti (Theoretical Physics),
Spokesperson of the Profile Area "Space, Time & Matter" 

Key Research Areas

Matter under extreme conditions

investigates the extreme temperature, density, and gravity present in the early universe and in the interior of compact stars. It does so by using the collisions of heavy ions at CERN-LHC and GSI-FAIR, or of neutron stars.

Structure, properties and processes in the deep earth

investigates the properties of matter on earth at extreme temperatures and pressures, deriving a quantitative understanding of large-scale processes, such as magmatism and tectonics.

Condensed matter and quantum materials

investigates novel phenomena resulting from a coupling between elastic properties of quantum materials and their electronic quantum phases, as well as many-body phenomena in quantum matter and synthetic quantum matter.

Light-driven processes in atoms, molecules and organisms

investigates light-matter interaction in atoms, molecules, solids, and biological systems. Using light, it develops methods to control processes in complex systems.

Multi-scale dynamics of the atmosphere

investigates challenging issues in atmospheric physics, from molecular-scale condensation nuclei, clouds, turbulence, atmospheric waves and weather, over to planetary-scale patterns of climate variability.

Algorithms and complexity

develops new, mathematically rigorous techniques for the design and analysis of algorithms needed for simulation, reconstruction, controlling, and optimizing the dynamics in networks.

DFG (German Research Foundation)


HMWK (Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts)

BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

Research Network 05P2021:

ErUM-FSP T01 "Run 3 of ALICE at LHC" 
ErUM-FSP T06 "Setup of CBM at FAIR" 
ErUM-FSP T05 "Setup of APPA at FAIR"
R&D Accelerator Hadron Linacs