Jülich Expertise for American and German Coronavirus Websites

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, the main focus has been on the effective reproduction number, also known as the R-value or Rt. Two Jülich PhD students contributed their expertise to optimise its modelling. They supported the American website of Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Now they also provide daily analyses of the German figures.

High flyer

They are considered to be promising candidates for the solar modules of the future: materials with a perovskite structure. Prof. Michael Saliba has been heavily involved in this young field of research since its beginning. At Jülich, he is now pursuing a new idea.

Micrometre by Micrometre: Decoding the Human Brain with AI

The starting signal has been given: the German-Canadian Helmholtz International BigBrain Analytics and Learning Laboratory (HIBALL) takes up its work. The goal: a three-dimensional brain atlas at a cellular resolution level. The method: the close integration of artificial intelligence, supercomputing and neuroscience. Involved are: more than 40 scientists.

Seeing Opportunity in the Coronavirus Crisis

During the coronavirus crisis, scientists are often being asked to take part in interviews and discussions. Even complex topics related to virology and statistics have become popular. In this interview, Jülich expert Prof. Hans Peter Peters explains why this is the case. He addresses public opinion on science and technology.

Coronavirus and Air Quality in the Rhineland 

What impact is the shutdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic having on air quality in the Rhineland region? Jülich’s Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Troposphere is seeking to answer this question with a measurement campaign, which is being launched at the beginning of May from the Bonn-Hangelar airfield. A Zeppelin NT airship will be used to measure trace gases and particulate matter over multiple flights on different routes.

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Ionenfalle

New method prevents quantum computers crash

Quantum information is fragile, which is why quantum computers must also be able to correct errors. But what if whole qubits are lost? Researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, in collaboration with Universities of Innsbruck and Bologna, are presenting a method in the journal Nature that allows quantum computers to keep going even if they lose some qubits along the way.

Rastertunnelmikroskop

Autonomous Robot Plays with NanoLEGO

Molecules are the building blocks of everyday life. Many materials are composed of them, a little like a LEGO model consists of a multitude of different bricks. But while individual LEGO bricks can be simply shifted or removed, this is not so easy in the nanoworld. Each brick requires its own “instruction manual”. Scientists from Jülich and Berlin have now developed an artificial intelligence system that autonomously learns how to grip and move individual molecules using a scanning tunnelling microscope.

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Research topics

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s disease

Identifizierung von Amyloid-beta-Oligomeren

The Structural Biochemistry division (ICS-6) combines fundamental structural biological research with applied clinical research. The molecular basis of the disease is being decoded by the research group led by Professor Dieter Willbold, using extremely high-resolution structural biological methods such as NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, as well as simulations run on Jülich’s supercomputers. The Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for basic research. The Institute is also developing an innovative therapy strategy using an in-house developed drug candidate that eliminates Aβ oligomers.
The Molecular Organization of the Brain division (INM-2) investigates metabolic and neurochemical processes that underlie neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The main objective of the clinical research conducted by Professor Andreas Bauer’s team is the development of highly specific neurochemical indicators for brain diseases.

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Batteries

Batteries

Identifizierung von Amyloid-beta-Oligomeren

Long-term energy storage is one of the key challenges for the success of the Energy Transition. The lithium-ion battery continues to be the standard for mobile applications. Researchers at Forschungszentrum Jülich are working on increasing its performance and improving its safety. But they are also pursuing other approaches, such as solid-state batteries with ceramic ion conductors and various types of metal-air batteries. Together with the Central Institute of Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA), researchers from the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK) are developing and optimising a range of battery concepts for different areas of application.

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Big Data

Big Data

Kabel und Module des Supercomputers QPACE

The use of Big Data technology is one of the most important trends in the 21st century. The digitalisation of all areas of life brings with it the amassing of vast amounts of data. Businesses and industry use this data to obtain new information – to make predictions, optimise industrial processes or tailor products to customer needs. Big Data problems are also becoming increasingly important in the world of science. Such data often come from different sources. Corresponding datasets tend to be so large and complex or so poorly structured and with such a high level of uncertainty that they can no longer be adequately processed using conventional methods. For example, Big Data analysis plays a key role in medicine when it comes to decoding complex interrelations as the cause of diseases.

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Fuel Cells

Fuel cells

Kabel und Module des Supercomputers QPACE

Fuel cells use electrochemical reactions to convert hydrogen or hydrogen-rich fuels into electricity, making them environmentally friendly and efficient sources of energy. Three types of fuel cells are being developed at the Forschungszentrum Jülich: solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells (HT-PEFC) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). Their different properties and operating conditions make them suitable for a range of different applications, such as in heavy goods vehicles, aircraft or combined heat and power plants.

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Energy Transition

The Energy Transition

Blaue Solaranlage auf Ziegeldach vor blauem Himmel

Solving the global energy problem is considered the foremost challenge of the 21st century. In addition to research into renewable energy sources, batteries, fuel cells and hydrogen as an energy storage and transport mechanism, researchers at the Forschungszentrum Jülich are also working on a number of cross-disciplinary projects.

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Hydrogen

Hydrogen as energy storage

Ekolyser-Prototyp

Hydrogen is a widely usable source of energy. It can be stored and transported over long distances, processed into liquid fuels or used directly as a fuel with the help of fuel cells. Hydrogen can be obtained through the electrochemical separation of water – water electrolysis.

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Information Storage and Processing

Information Storage and Processing

Resistive Speicher

The Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) pursues a number of approaches to increase the energy efficiency, performance, and speed of data storage technologies. To this end, scientists investigate physical phenomena and the properties of materials and materials combinations on the nanoscale, such as in semiconductors and oxides. This work serves as basic research for the development of components and component designs for computer chips. The scientists also keep a look out for materials suitable for entirely new physical phenomena, which could be used to store data.

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Nitrate

Nitrate

umgepflügter Ackerboden mit Bäumen im Hintergrund

Germany has a problem: there is too much nitrate in the groundwater as well as in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. In most cases, the agricultural sector is the culprit, spreading too much liquid manure and mineral fertilizer on fields.

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Quantum Computers

Quantum computers

Detailaufnahme des OpenSuperQ

Quantum technology will change our world – in science, industry, business and everyday life. However, the optimal synthesis of theoretical knowledge and practical competence is needed in order for the high expectations to be fulfilled regarding this revolutionary technology. This is a challenge that is a perfect match, as this is where Forschungszentrum Jülich can play to its particular strengths in the area of benefit-inspired fundamental research. Jülich combines fundamental research in quantum materials and quantum computing with concrete application development.

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Renewable Resources

Renewable resources for the bioeconomy

In der Pflanzenforschung setzen Wissenschaftler ein Oktokopter bzw. eine Vermessungsdrohne im Freien ein.

Renewable resources play a key role in the bioeconomy. Biobased economy is all about creating opportunities to feed a growing world population, produce fuel from suitable biomass and convert industrial production processes such that they rely as little as possible on crude oil. This requires the development of new bio-based value chains, for example to create basic chemical building blocks for industry.

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Photovoltaics

Photovoltaics

Künstliche Photosynthese

Photovoltaics provides an inexhaustible, clean source of energy. However, the efficiency levels achieved are still relatively low, in particular for solar cells of the kind used in conventional roof and field systems. A number of alternatives to the widely used standard silicon solar cells are being researched at the Photovoltaics division (IEK-5).

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Strokes

Strokes

ag_rehabilitation of cognitive impairments

Strokes have been the leading cause of permanent disability in Europe and the United States for many years. According to the German Society for Neurology, approximately 260,000 people suffer a stroke in Germany every year. Several teams in the Cognitive Neuroscience (INM-3) division of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine are researching how strokes affect the structure and function of the brain. It has been observed that strokes affect not only motor skills but also cognitive abilities such as alertness, speech and motor function. When this occurs, the brain is able to compensate for the functions lost as a result of the stroke, reconfiguring itself. Scientists at the Institute are working with the Clinic for Neurology at the University of Cologne to determine exactly how this happens and how these processes can be supported by special external procedures.

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Supercomputers

Supercomputers

JUWELS blau beleuchtet in der Rechnerhalle des JSC, fotografiert aus der Froschperspektive

Supercomputers have been established as indispensable tools in science. Computer simulations open the door to advances not possible via the conventional route of theory and experimentation. For instance, simulations on supercomputers are needed to validate scientific models in physics, climate research or neuroscience. At the same time, they provide new insights into the properties and structure of materials and biomolecules, as well as the sequence of biological and chemical processes.

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