Profile Area Space, Time & Matter


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

Key Research Areas

Research in the Profile Area ‘’Space, Time and Matter” is dedicated to the physical and mathematical foundations on which natural sciences are built. The integration of space, time and matter builds bridges from the building blocks of particle, nuclear and atomic physics to their collective interaction in solids, synthetic quantum materials, and atmosphere and interior of the earth, planets and neutron stars. The study of space, time and matter requires mathematically rigorous and efficient techniques and algorithms to simulate and analyze its dynamics and face new challenging geometric questions.

Matter under extreme conditions

investigates the extreme temperatures and densities 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 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.

ERC Grants

  • Starting Grant "3DTunneling - Tunnel ionization in three-dimensional tailored light fields" (Sebastian Eckart, FB 13)
  • Advanced Grant "JETSET: Launching, propagation and emission of relativistic jets from binary mergers and across mass scales" (Luciano Rezzolla, FB 13)

Emmy Noether Junior Research Groups 

  • „Solving the paradox of the Fe-O system to understand the mineralogy of deep planetary interiors“ (Elena Bykova, FB 11)
  • "Stochastische Prozesse in der Evolution von Parasiten" (Cornelia Pokalyuk, FB 12) 
  • "Die mechanistischen Grundlagen der Biogenese der äußeren Membran erforscht unter in-situ Bedingungen mit EPR Spektroskopie" (Benesh Joseph, FB 13) 

Heisenberg Programme 

  • Professorship "Exotische Mesonen mit Gitter-QCD" (Marc Wagner, FB 13) 
  • Fellowship "Kruste-Mantel-Entwicklung und Volatilzyklen des Erdinnern im Verlauf der Zeit" (Sonia Aulbach, FB 11)
GRADE Centers
  • GRADE CompuMath 
  • GRADE Hadron and Ion Research

Institutions of Goethe University

  • CSC - Center for Scientific Computing 
  • FIERCE - Frankfurt Isotope & Element Research Center 
  • Taunus Observatory

Cooperating Institutions

  • FCEM - Frankfurt Center for Electron Microscopy
  • FIAS - Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies
  • FAIR - Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Europe 
  • HZ GSI - Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschnung 
  • HFHF - Helmholtz Forschungsakademie Hessen für FAIR