Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions (TRA Matter)

© Bialek/Uni Bonn

The formation of complex structures based on the fundamental building blocks of matter and their interactions is investigated from subnuclear and subatomic over atomic, molecular, bio-molecular to terrestrial and astronomical length scales, increasing the knowledge of mankind on the fundamentals of nature. Sophisticated and highly visible experiments are done in the synthetic, analytical, spectroscopy, optics and detector laboratories at various Institutes at the University of Bonn, at its electron accelerator ELSA, and colliders worldwide as well as at observatories on the ground and in space. These experiments are complemented by world-leading theoretical calculations which in part also surpass the boundaries presently accessible by experiment. This research is highly recognized internationally and is supported within several coordinated research programs.

Scientific networks of chemists, physicists, biologists, pharmacists, geologists, and many more address highly challenging questions by exploring nature at all relevant distance scales. Even though the investigations are largely driven by curiosity to understand the inner workings of nature, they also lead to numerous spin-offs for technology and society such as detector technologies, first steps toward quantum technology, image analysis and rational molecular design.

Intensified collaboration between the various research groups crossing the boundaries of the different fields of science benefits not only the research but also the education of our students. Strong connections not only to large scale research infrastructures worldwide, such as CERN, FAIR, KEK, BESSY, ALMA, eROSITA , Euclid, and Athena, but also its local infrastructure and the connections to the institutions of the Max-Planck Society (MPIfR, MPI CEC, caesar), the ABC/J Geoverbund and the Forschungszentrum Jülich make Bonn a unique location for fundamental research.

Cluster of Excellence: ML4Q - Matter and Light for Quantum Computing

About TRA
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About TRA Matter

Mission, Objectives, Organisation

© Markus Winkler on unsplash


Profile, Areas, Awards 

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© Fabio Bracht on unsplash


Members, Partners

Current Highlights

First Hands-on Workshop „Machine Learning“ offered by the Transdisciplinary research area „Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions (TRA Matter)“

15. September 2022

Around 50 post-docs and PhD students from the field of chemistry, physics and molecular sciences participated in the hands-on workshop "Machine Learning", organized by Dr. Michael Lupberger and Dr. Andreas Hansen, both members of the Transdisciplinary research area "Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions (TRA Matter)". On the one-day workshop, all participated early career researchers gained insights by interesting lectures on Machine Learning in sciences and theoretical concepts. Furthermore, they were given the chance to try out what they had learned in hands-on application sessions.

In the morning, Dr. Tobias Gensch from the Institute of Chemistry at the TU Berlin gave a vivid introduction to the application of Machine Learning in science. He highlighted, based on the long path towards drug approval, in which stages different algorithms are already applied, from the modelling of molecules and their reactivity until their approval.

Afterwards, the practical backgrounds on the theory of Machine Learning was the subject of a both educational and entertaining lecture by informatics Professor Christian Bauckhage from our University, who is also Lead Scientist for Machine Learning at Fraunhofer IAIS.

In the afternoon, the participants were finally guided by the tutors Thomas Block, Patrick Schwäbig (both Bonn) and Tobias Quadfasel (Hamburg) to the practicalities of Machine Learning e.g. data cleaning and preparation or classification problem (fully connected neural network) and regression.

We are thankful to the excellent speakers and engaged tutors for their contribution to the success of this workshop!

Hands-On Workshop "Machine Learning"
© Michael Lupberger / Uni Bonn

1.5 million euros for improved quantum sensors
Physicists at the University of Bonn lead a new European QuantERA collaborative project

25. April 2022

They originate from the world of the smallest particles and have the ability to measure things with the highest precision - quantum sensors are currently veritable stars among experts. For a project aimed at improving such sensors, physicists at the University of Bonn and their international partners are now receiving funding of around 1.5 million euros from the European QuantERA program. In their project, the researchers want to guide laser-cooled atoms through hollow-core photonic crystal fibers in order to incorporate them into quantum sensors and quantum computers. The Technical University of Darmstadt, the Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), the University of Torun (Poland) and the company Alpine Quantum Technologies (Austria) are involved.

Further information can be found in the official press release of the University of Bonn.

Prof. Dr. Simon Stellmer vom Physikalischen Institut der Universität Bonn koordiniert das neue Projekt „QuantumGuide“..jpeg
© Simon Wegener / ML4Q


Press release of the University of Bonn, related to TRA Matter

Current press

Four ERC Grants for the University of Bonn (Press release 25.07.2022)

University and Nobel Laureates Celebrate Rudolph Clausius as Visionary (Press release 14.07.2022)

Dating for researchers at the Bundeskunsthalle (Press release 09.06.22)

Three ERC Grants for the University of Bonn at once (Press release 17.03.2022)

Too many disk galaxies than theory allows (Press release 04.02.2022)

Protons are probably actually smaller than long thought (Press release 04.02.2022)

“Bonn is the proper place for Clausius to be memorialized” (Press release 24.1.2022)

Chemists design "molecular sea of flags" (Press release 26.11.2021)

Kekulé's shattered dream: snakes become ladders (Press release 16.11.2021)

University of Bonn’s Research and Technology Center for Detector Physics gets ceremonial opening (Press release 09.11.2021)

Researchers film fundamental life process (Press release 27.10.2021)

Artificial intelligence sharpens the view into space (Press release 30.08.2021)

Transformation in the particle zoo - Study led by the University of Bonn finds evidence of a long-sought effect in CERN data (Press release 18.08.2021)

Physicist honored for excellent teaching (Press release 02.07.2021)

Matter highway in space makes galaxy clusters grow (Press release 28.06.2021)

Researchers investigate structural changes in snap-frozen proteins (Press release 27.04.2021)

Ulf-G. Meißner receives an ERC Advanced Grant (Press release 12.04.2021)

A new state of light (Press release 30.03.2021)

When memory qubits and photons get entangled (Press release 12.03.2021)

Innovations through hair-thin optical fibres (Press release 20.01.21)

Researchers develop sustainable catalysis process (Press release 18.01.2021)

Physicists observe competition between magnetic orders (Press release 06.01.2021)

Longest intergalactic gas filament discovered (Press release 17.12.2020)

Forschungsgroßvorhaben gehen in neue Runde (Press release 27.11.2020)

Events & Offers

Here you will find information on ongoing events (e.g. TRA Matter Public Lecture Series and TRA Matter Colloquium) and offers of TRA Matter.

Hands-on Workshop Machine Learning
© Tom Frömbgen / TRA Matter

Our members

The scientific network of TRA Matter continues to grow and consists of members from different disciplines (e.g. Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Molecular Biomedicine, Geodesy, Pharmacy).


TRA Management

Dr. Birgit Westernströer

TRA Manager

Stabsstelle für strategische Entwicklung und Qualitätssicherung

Prorektorat für Forschung und wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs

Tel.: +49 (0) 15152560751


Founding speakers

Prof. Dr. Ulrike Thoma

Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik

Prof. Dr. Peter Vöhringer

Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie

The other TRAs at the University of Bonn

Get an interesting insight into the other Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRAs) of the University of Bonn here. 

Six TRAs: the research profile of the University of Bonn 

TRA Mathematics, Modelling and Simulation of Complex Systems

TRA Life and Health

TRA Individuals, Institutions and Societies

TRA Past Worlds and Modern Questions. Cultures Across Time and Space

TRA Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures

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