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In biomedical research and clinical care, it is becoming ever more important to detect biomarkers (pathogenic proteins and cells) quantitatively in order to understand systemic processes or to make decisions as regards diagnostics and therapy.

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The former President of PTB, Prof. Dr. Joachim Ullrich, passed the baton to Prof. Dr. Cornelia Denz on 1 May 2022. She is the first female president in PTB’s more than 135-year history. Before taking on this post, Cornelia Denz headed the Institute of Applied Physics at the Westfälische Wilhelms- Universität Münster for seven years. Because she has been a member of the “Kuratorium” (Advisory Board) for many years, she is already very familiar with PTB. After leading PTB for ten years, Joachim Ullrich will take up a new position as the president of the German Physical Society (DPG).

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The ability to measure even the smallest grip forces, in particular for the nondestructive handling and manipulation of highly sensitive materials such as biological cells, is indispensable in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry.

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German government planning foresees the installation of one million public charging stations for electric vehicles in Germany by 2030. Whereas the correct metering and billing of fuel is reliable and a matter of course at conventional filling stations, the measurement technology used in particular for fast charging stations is still new and constantly being improved. A mobile measuring system allows those charging stations already in place to be checked in the field.

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Due to their higher reference frequency, optical clocks enable measurements that are even more accurate than those of conventional atomic clocks. Until now, however, optical clocks could only be operated by experts in special laboratories. Within the scope of Opticlock, an industry-led pilot project for quantum technologies, a demonstrator of an optical clock has been built. This demonstrator makes the advantages of modern quantum technologies available to end-users in the form of a user- friendly device.

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The highly accurate form measurement of optical aspheres and free-form surfaces represents a great challenge in metrology. A new method uses artificial intelligence (AI) – i.e., deep neural networks – to reconstruct optical surfaces from the measurement data of a tilted-wave interferometer. In addition, this method quantifies the uncertainty of the prediction.

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In conventional gear and screw thread metrology, measurements for evaluating the quality of components are performed only pointwise or linewise in selected transverse and axial sections, respectively. In light of tighter manufacturing tolerances and new challenges brought on by modern production processes, this procedure is not sufficient. At PTB, a universal procedure has been developed to conduct areal measurements of helical machine elements and to evaluate them holistically by means of a parameterized 3D model.

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Which UV-C air purifier is effective against coronaviruses? Under which conditions? Are these devices safe to use? A publication developed by the DIN institute in collaboration with PTB ensures more safety for manufacturers, potential users and planners. Particular attention is paid to the safety of these devices, especially as concerns their use in schools or daycare facilities.

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At PTB, optical thin-film materials for extreme ultraviolet lithography are systematically investigated at a wavelength of 13.5 nm. The optical constants (i.e., the refractive index and the extinction coefficient) have now been determined in the wavelength range between 10 nm and 20 nm with small uncertainties based on reflection measurements performed with synchrotron radiation.

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