Max Planck Institutes

A long-standing tradition of optics research

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL)

Developing white light sources which are many times stronger than light bulbs, manipulating individual photons or the smallest focal spot in the world – these are just some of the activities carried out by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light. All aspects of the researchers’ work is centred around controlling light in every way; in space and time, in polarisation and in its quantum properties.

The Institute was founded in 2009, making it the newest of around 80 Max Planck Institutes in Germany. It originated from the Max Planck research group ‘Optics, Information and Photonics’ at FAU which strengthened FAU’s long-standing reputation in the field of optics and provided new insights across multiple disciplines between 2004 and 2008.

MPL has three departments, several independent research groups, and three technical service and development groups.

Max Planck Research School

In collaboration with FAU, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light runs an international doctorate programme called the International Max Planck Research School Physics of Light (IMPRS-PL).

Key features of the IMPRS-PL are:

  • three year programme
  • excellent research conditions
  • unique combination of classical optics and quantum optics, nanophotonics, image processing, laser technology, biomedical and biological optics
  • structured study plan
  • international and interdisciplinary environment
  • English as the working language
  • financial support

Max Planck Centre for Physics and Medicine

Logo Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und MedizinInterdisciplinarity is the keyword for research at the Max Planck Centre for Physics and Medicine (ZMP) in Erlangen. Researchers from FAU, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light will collaborate here at the interface between physics and medicine.

For example, this will involve taking a closer look at the mechanical, electrical or chemical processes that occur in inflammation or in tumours. The findings will be applied directly in diagnosis and therapies thus benefiting patients.

The cooperation agreement for establishing the centre was signed in July 2017. The centre will be set up on the site of Universitätsklinikum and is to include several new Chairs and interdisciplinary research groups as well as a new department for the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light