New Center for neutron research in Germany


TUM and Helmholtz Centers establish the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum

Prof. Dr. Dieter Richter (l.) and Prof. Dr. Winfried Petry at the inauguration of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum. (Lommatzsch/FRM II)

The German neutron research concentrated at the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) in Garching received its own name: Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum. Thus, the successful cooperation between the Technische Universität München, the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Center for Materials and Coastal Research (HTG) enters a new stage. Today, the inaugural ceremony was held in Garching.

The center ist named after the German pioneer and mentor of neutron research, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (1911 - 2000). On his initiative and under his guidance, the first neutron research reactor (Forschungsreaktor München) in Garching, the "atomic egg", was built and put into operation in 1957. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz was also funding director of the high-flux reactor at the Institute Laue Langevin in Grenoble, France. Until his retirement in 1974, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz was professor for Technical Physics at the Technische Universität München. From 1974 until 1979 he was serving as president for the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

The cooperation between the Technische Universität München and the Helmholtz Centers started in 2011 and is additionally supported for ten years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with an annual budget of 19.8 Million Euros. Under the auspices of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz Centers are financially involved with 10.8 Million Euros per year. The TUM is still the sole operator of the neutron source. The state of Bavaria funds reactor operation and research with 25 Million Euros annually.

The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum (MLZ) supports German and interational scientists in their contributions towards solving major scientific and societal challenges, e.g. in the field of energy research, biomodedicine and tumour research, information technology, materials science and engineering. For this purpose, the Technische Universität München and the Helmholtz Centers are operating 30 first-class instruments at the MLZ. To merge know-how and to further eyploit synergies, joint scientific groups have been founded. They cover six important fields of neutron research: Materials Research, Structure Research, Soft Matter and Biophysics, Quantum Phenomena, Nuclear and Particle Phyiscs as well as Neutron Methods. Also joint professorial appointments are planned.

TUM president Prof. Dr. Wolfgang A. Herrmann: "Therewith, the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum is a leading center for research using neutrons and positrons. Due to its unique range of applications TUM's Research Neutron Source provides the essential basis for this."

Prof. Dr. Winfried Petry, Scientific Director of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum and Scientific Director of the Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II): "Research using neutrons provides essential and unique contributions to the major challenges of modern societies. To face these challenges, university and non-university research institutions are engaged at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum."

Prof. Dr. Dieter Richter, spokesman of the Scientific Directorate of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum and Director of the Jülich Center for Neutron Science at the Forschungszentrum Jülich: "By increasing the cooperation we create an academic environment that is internationally leading. This will strengthen the German research landscape on a long term basis."

The new website represents the research activities at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum and gives information to scientists and the interested public on its scientific use.

Prof. Dr. Winfried Petry
Forschungs-Neutronenquelle Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II)
Technische Universität München
Lichtenbergstr. 1, 85748 Garching, Germany
Tel.: +49 89 289 12141