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    Welcome to the research group
    of Prof. Clemens Bechinger

    Find an overview of the current research projects here. 

  • Illustration of a janus particle in a bath of a glassy colloidal suspension
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  • Illustration of two-dimensional aggregates made of colloidal particles sliding over a substrate consisting of a thing film with periodic holes

  • Illustration of an ensemble of janus-particles. The vision cone of those micro swimmers is shown. It is about 200 degrees around the swimmer and will lead to a collective swirling motion, depected by a green angular arrow


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Current news

Curveball at the microscopic scale

The Magnus effect causes the curved trajectory of spinning footballs or tennis balls, and it can even be used for the propulsion of ships. A team of physicists led by Clemens Bechinger have now documented, for the first time, the existence of the Magnus effect at the microscopic scale.

Whether you are familiar with the Magnus effect or not, you have certainly often made use of it, e.g. when kicking a curveball or putting spin on a tennis ball. The Flettner rotor even employs this principle to…

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Why selfishness can lead to fairness

The reason why many animals organize themselves within herds is not necessarily the result of gregariousness or social behaviour. One example is seals: On their own, they are easy prey for orcas or sharks. Instead, it is much safer within a group, because then the danger of an attack is spread out among many individuals. It is safest in the middle of the group where animals are crowding together in a very small space and an attack there is more likely to target a close neighbor than oneself. At…

Surface melting of a colloidal glass

Despite their technological relevance, a full microscopic understanding of glasses is still lacking. This applies even more to their surfaces whose properties largely differ from that of the bulk material. Here, we experimentally investigate the surface of a two-dimensional glass as a function of the effective temperature.

The role of cohesion in the flow of active particles through bottlenecks

When particles are forced through a sufficiently narrow geometric constriction, their flow becomes unsteady due to the development of temporary clogs, e.g. arches, which strongly perturb their free motion. Such behavior has been studied in great detail, e.g. for granular matter driven through funnels or colloidal particles flowing through geometric constraints.

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