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Press releases 2015

Martin Herrenknecht builds the world's largest boring machines. His tunnel boring machines are top-notch when it comes to spectacular projects such as the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the fourth tube of the Elbe Tunnel in Hamburg, and, more recently, a tunnel deep beneath the Bosphorus. The Werner von Siemens Ring Foundation has now paid him tribute for his outstanding technical achievements and awarded...

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The movement of charge carriers perpendicular to an electric driving field – even without a magnetic field – constitutes one of the most intriguing properties of carriers in solids. This anomalous velocity is at the origin of fascinating physical phenomena – with the spin Hall effect and the anomalous Hall effect being two prominent examples – and might be important for future spintronic...

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Gestern hat in der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig die 147. Vollversammlung für das Mess- und Eichwesen stattgefunden, an der zahlreiche Vertreter von Eichbehörden, Prüfstellen, Konformitätsbewertungsstellen sowie sachverständigen Institutionen und Verbänden teilgenommen haben. Es war die erste Vollversammlung nach Inkrafttreten des neuen Mess- und Eichrechts zu Beginn...

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Space holds numerous fascinating objects which we can only investigate by observing their radiation – even beyond the visible range. For space telescopes such as the European Space Agency's (ESA) infrared observatory Herschel, whose mission is to observe radiation in the far-infrared, cooling the instruments is of vital importance, since the instruments themselves must not emit disturbing infrared...

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Vector network analyzers (VNA) are among the most precise high-frequency measurement devices available today. Due to continuous development within the last decades VNAs are usable up to frequencies of 1 terahertz (1012 Hz) and complex error correction algorithms exist. However, VNAs are very expensive and require multiple frequency extenders in order to cover a wide frequency range. At the...

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Zuweilen kündigte sich die Gefahr im Schacht durch Atembeschwerden an, doch längst nicht immer. Schlagwetter, das explosionsfähige Gemisch aus Methan und Luft, konnte sich jederzeit an den offenen Grubenlampen der Bergleute entzünden und für Witwen und Waisen sorgen. Bis Sir Humphry Davy vor genau 200 Jahren die nach ihm benannte Davylampe erfand – das erste explosionsgeschützte Betriebsmittel der...

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Magnetic nanostructures – or rather: the interaction between charge, spin and current flow as a function of a temperature gradient in such structures – this is what the fast growing research area named "spin caloritronics" deals with. And this area of research has already come up with a number of newly discovered interesting effects and promising applications. Scientists from the...

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Jülich/Graz/Berlin, October 5 – Many of you will remember them from your physics lessons at school: often represented as colourful clouds or balloons, electron orbitals provide information on the whereabouts of the electrons in atoms and molecules. Scientists from the University of Graz, Forschungszentrum Jülich, and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt have now succeeded in experimentally...

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Are wind farms harmful to humans? Some believe so, others refute this; this controversial topic makes emotions run high. To give the debate more objectivity, an international team of experts dealt with the fundamentals of hearing in the lower limit range of the audible frequency range (i.e. infrasound), but also in the upper limit range (i.e. ultrasound). The project, which is part of the European...

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Exactly three years after the last leap second, it is that time again. In the night leading up to 1 July 2015 there will be an extra second once more. This will lengthen Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and our legal time, currently Central European Summer Time (CEST) by one second. The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) is following the specifications of the International Earth Rotation...

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