New Frontiers in Science – Munich Summer Academy 2005


Max Planck Institutes

The Max Planck Society was founded in 1948 as the successor to the “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft” founded in 1911. The Max Planck Society is chiefly funded through the public sector. Some 80 research institutes belong to the society. These research institutes support and complement the academic research in various fields within the natural sciences and in the field of history.

Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics

The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) researches in the fields of astrophysics and plasma physics, applying experimental and theoretical methods.

The research is divided into four areas:

Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology

The emphasis in research at the Max-Planck-Institute for neurobiology is the development, processing and storage of information in the neural-system as well as research in the diseases that effect the neural-system, with the neural information-processing from audible and visual irritants to the neural-system and the cerebrum und the storage of information in the cerebrum being the focal-points. In the studies to the diseases which effect the neural-system an emphasis has been placed upon neural-immunological diseases such as Multiple Scleroses. A series of connections exists between these two main research areas through interdisciplinary projects.

Max Planck Institute for Physics (Werner Heisenberg Institute)

This institute was founded in Berlin in 1917 as the “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Physik”. It moved several times in its early history before it came to Munich under the directorship of Werner Heisenberg and Ludwig Biermann, where it has been ever since. The institute is chiefly engaged in the research of fundamental components of matter, as well as the interaction and the roll of matter in astrophysics. The focal point of the theoretical research is the theory of the potent interaction of matter, studies in high-energy physics, studies in the possible extension to the standard model of elemental physics, the mathematical basis of quantum physics as well as all open questions relating to astrophysics.

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics

The Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching, Greifswald and Berlin researched the principles for a fusion reactor. This reactor should produce energy, as is the case with the sun, through the fusion of light atoms. With its workforce of about 1.000, it is one of the largest fusion research centres in Europe.

The Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics was established in 1981 and was situated in an IPP building until 1986. This institute researches in the field of light/matter interaction und develops new laser systems for atom-physics and plasma-physics.

Research focal points:

Research Centre for Environment and Health (GSF)

The task of this research centre is the research for the health of people and the environment. The GSF researches the complex systems of life in the areas of tension between environmental influences and genetic constructions. The aim is to identify health risks for people and the ecosystem, to identify the breaking point of the environment as well as to develop concepts to avoid long-term damage to the environment, so as to protect the health of the peoples and their natural basis of existence for the future.

The results are an important basis for the recommendations to the limits in the areas of environment and health, which are taken into account by the parliament upon setting these limits.

The German Museum

Europe’s largest technical and natural sciences museum was founded in 1903 by the engineer Oscar von Miller. The buildings in which it is situated were completed in 1925.

The exhibitions of the Museum were from the very beginning conceived to be didactical, so as to enable the understanding of even the most abstract phenomena. Technical concepts were illustrated through working models, which were accessible to the visitors. The exhibition is complemented through a series of historical devices such as the first Benz-Automobile from 1886.

The exhibition halls of the German Museum cover an area of some 57,000 square yards und contain some 17,000 exhibition pieces. The tour route around all the exhibition halls is approximately ten miles!

The Deutches Museum possesses a reference library which contains some 800,000 works as well as an extensive archive. The aviation exhibition of the Deutches Museum is situated at a satellite station in Schleißheim (north of Munich) and covers an area of over 7,800 square metres. In 2003, a new automobile exhibition was opened near the Oktoberfest area.


The Siemens Museum was originally opened in Berlin in 1916 and is the oldest corporate museum in Germany. The partitioning of Berlin after the Second World War led to the museum being relocated to Munich. The exhibition of the Siemens Museum was rearranged in the late 1960s so as to further the understanding of the electronic technology. The orientation of the museum was changed in 1980 form a technically detailed description of the exhibits to a less technical but more understandable orientation.

The Siemens Museum changed its name to SiemensForum and moved in 1999 to its present location on the Oskar-von-Miller-Ring. The new motto “talking with each other” is mirrored in the large auditorium. There is even a location for special-exhibitions. The standard exhibition covers an area of 650 square yards.


is an establishment of the department of culture of the city of Munich and exhibits contemporary art. The lothringer13/laden, due to the initiative of Julian Nida-Rümelin, has been run since September 2000 from the “Program Angels” a group of artists, art-historians and advisors. One of the main focal-points is the networking of different areas of society. Next to exhibitions young artists are given the opportunity to present their work. During the duration of the course the lothringer13/laden will provide a comfortable lounge atmosphere, with food and music, so the guests, scientists, artists and citizens of Munich can get to know each other.

Fraunhofer Society

The Fraunhofer Society carries out implementation-orientated research to the benefit of companies and the society. Some 13000 staff are active in 80 research centres in over 40 locations throughout Germany. The annual budget of the Fraunhofer-Society is approximately one billion Euros, funded through contracts with various firms as well as from the public sector. Branches in Europe, USA and in Asia ensure contact to the most important science and economic-landscapes.

The society was named after the researcher, inventor and entrepreneur Joseph von Fraunhofer (1787–1826).