Photo: Volker Lannert / Uni Bonn

Building Blocks of Matter and Fundamental Interactions (TRA Matter)

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 CERN1, FAIR2, KEK3, BESSY, ALMA4, eROSITA5 , Euclid6, and Athena, but also its local infrastructure and the connections to the institutions of the Max-Planck Society (MPIfR7, MPI CEC8, caesar9), the ABC/J Geoverbund10 and the Forschungszentrum Jülich11 make Bonn a unique location for fundamental research.

Cluster of Excellence: ML4Q - Matter and Light for Quantum Computing121111112731111111

About TRA
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About TRA Matter

Mission, Objectives, Organisation

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Profile, Areas, Awards 

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© Fabio Bracht on unsplash


Members, Partners

Current Highlights

ERC Advanced Grant for Prof. Dr. Ulf-G. Meißner

22. April 2021

Prof. Dr. Ulf-G. Meißner, scientist at the Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik, has been awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) for his research project "Emergent Complexity from Strong Interactions (EXOTIC)" with an Advanced Grant. Please see the press release for further information.

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With the help of the chiral nuclear effective field theory (EFT), fundamental questions shall be answered in the future within the EXOTIC research project © Ulf.-G. Meißner / Uni Bonn


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

Current press

Researchers investigate structural changes in snap-frozen proteins18 (Press release 27.04.2021)

Ulf-G. Meißner receives an ERC Advanced Grant19181818 (Press release 12.04.2021)

A new state of light (Press release 30.03.2021)

When memory qubits and photons get entangled201919 (Press release 12.03.2021)

Innovations through hair-thin optical fibres2120 (Press release 20.01.21)

Researchers develop sustainable catalysis process2221 (Press release 18.01.2021)

Physicists observe competition between magnetic orders2322 (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.

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© Birgit Westernströer/Uni Bonn

New open funding calls!!


TRA Management

Dr. Birgit Westernströer

TRA Manager

Stabsstelle für strategische Entwicklung und Qualitätssicherung

Prorektorat für Forschung und wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs

Tel.: +49 (0) 15152560751

Sarah May

Geschäftszimmer der Stabsstelle für strategische Entwicklung und Qualitätssicherung

Prorektorat für Forschung und wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs

Tel.: +49 (0) 228-73-2477


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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