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Press releases 2010

Professor Dr. Ernst Otto Göbel, President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), has been awarded the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. With this award, among other things, his achievements towards furthering Germany's international reputation in the field of metrology are honoured. PTB as one of the leading metrology institutes...

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Please blow!

Christmas time is the time for mulled wine. And that tastes best at a Christmas market. So that market goers get home safely, the police are increasing their drink driving checks on car drivers right now. Those who are asked to blow into the device in this type of traffic check can be sure that the value the device displays after a short time is correct. This is because the "synthetic breath"...

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In most cases, a spectacular accident must first occur in order to make the public aware of a problem that lurks continually in many areas of industry: the danger of explosions due to electrical sparks. The simplest method to prevent such explosions is called "Intrinsic Safety". The intention thereby is to prevent ignitable sparks from even being created. Up to now, this has only been...

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Wenn die Ionen im Blut nicht in bestimmten Verhältnissen zueinander vorliegen, wirkt sich das auf vielfältige Weise negativ auf den Körper aus: Jeder hat sicherlich schon einmal einen Muskelkrampf bekommen, weil er zu wenig Magnesium im Blut hatte. Aber auch zu viel eines Ions ist nicht gut - so kann ein erhöhter Calciumwert zu Nierensteinen oder Herz-Rhythmusstörungen führen. Deshalb gibt die...

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 Coffee is the most popular beverage in Germany - even more popular than beer. And not only in Germany. In 2007, approximately 7.7 million tons of coffee were cultivated, dried, roasted and traded worldwide. Just for drying and roasting, the food industry in Germany spends almost one billion KWh of energy each year. As energy costs are at present very high, it is important to know as exactly...

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Is there a relation between the structure of specific regions of the brain and nicotine dependence? This is the question researchers of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) Berlin have been investigating lately. The results of these investigations extend and specify those of preceding studies: A specific region of the cerebral cortex...

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Using wind energy where the wind blows strongest - what a fascinating idea! The first offshore plants are already being erected, and many more are planned. But the farther they are away from the coast, the more urgent becomes the problem of transferring the current with as low a loss as possible. Over long distances, this is possible only with di-rect current. To exactly determine the...

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Components of micro- and nanoelectronics are manufactured on silicon wafers. In the past few decades, their diameter has increased from a few millimeters to meanwhile 300 mm. After the manufacture had been established at this stage, the next step towards an increase in productivity has now been tackled worldwide. The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) is one of ten German...

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Der Schlaganfall ist die zweithäufigste Todesursache in den Industrienationen. Ein Drittel der Überlebenden muss schwere, andauernde Behinderungen hinnehmen. Allein in Deutschland erleiden jährlich etwa eine Viertelmillion Menschen einen Schlaganfall. Sowohl die persönlichen Auswirkungen als auch die volkswirtschaftlichen Folgekosten sind enorm. Je schneller die Erkrankten in ein geeignetes...

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It is to become the largest X-ray telescope ever: The International X-Ray Observatory (IXO), which has been planned in a cooperation between NASA, ESA and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA, will be launched into space in 2021 and provide the world with brand new information about black holes and, thus, about the origin of the universe. Its dimensions are gigantic: The surface of the...

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