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18 February 2000

The University of Heidelberg
at CeBIT 2000

Six projects from the Kirchhoff Institute of Physics on show at booth B35, hall 16 – Front-edge application-oriented research – From sight simulation for the blind to the pipeline selector chip – Also featuring CD-ROM: physicist are sought-after all-rounders

From 24 February to 1 March the University of Heidelberg features prominently at the CeBIT 2000 trade fair in Hanover, presenting six front-edge application-oriented projects from the Kirchhoff Institute of Physics. "The Heidelberg exhibits alone take up 20% of the booth jointly organised by all the higher education institutions of Baden-Württemberg," says Heiko Klase, the University's trade fair liaison officer. Minister-President Erwin Teufel will be visiting the booth on opening day.

One project with a fair chance of coming out front-runner is "Detours to the Brain – Developing a Sight Simulation System". An interdisciplinary concerted effort directed by Prof. Karlheinz Meier and involving physicists, neuroscientists and ophthalmologists has come up with a tactile sight-simulation system for blind people. In this project visual information is acquired, processed and passed on to blind recipients via their sense of touch. In Hanover the project participants will be demonstrating a CMOS vision chip, an analogue image processing chip and a tactile interface for users.

Another highlight is the project "Chip Development – A Superlative-Performance Java Processor". Scientists under the leadership of Volker Lindenstruth have developed a Java processor with special commands for constructing a computer with a performance potential that can truly be termed "superlative". About 75,000 of these chips in parallel connection make it possible to realise massive parallel capture and computation of data. This computer must be able to process more than 40,000 billion (1012)arithmetical operations per second. The same research group will also be demonstrating the development of a new software interface. In parallel computers and clusters the number of clock cycles for transmitting data through a network is of major significance. With the new interface data can be conveyed without overhead; the latency period is in the micro-second range.

Three-dimensional microscopic cell diagnostics

Another project on show centres around a highly developed three-dimensional microscopic cell diagnostics technique (research group led by Prof. Christoph Cremer). It is designed to study the three-dimensional structure of human cell nuclei. The group will be demonstrating an image-processing procedure with major improvements in 3D resolution capacity.

The headlong progress in the miniaturisation of integrated electronic components is a major challenge in the production and electronic characterisation of ultra-thin metal films. The next of the projects on show has to do with preparing metal films only a few nanometres thick on isolators and semi-conductors and studying these (partly during preparation itself) with the aid of conductibility measurements, infra-red spectroscopy and scanning microscopy. Prof. Annemarie Pucci's research group will be demonstrating the operation of a simplified set-up for measuring the conductibility of nanometre film.

Finally, the University ASIC Lab and the Max Planck Institute of Nuclear Physics will be demonstrating the development of pipeline selector chips reinforcing and storing the signals from microstrip particle detectors. These represent the fundamental elements in ultramodern data capture for present-day large-scale experiments in particle physics. The group members in Hanover will be explaining the make-up and use of the Helix pipeline selector chip and exhibiting detector modules with integrated selector electronics.

"Ever thought of studying physics?" This is the question the University of Heidelberg will be asking secondary-school visitors to the CeBIT 2000 trade fair. Physics graduates are sought-after and highly-qualified all-rounders with a wide range of knowledge and skills. Internationalisation in their research field means of course that physicists need to be conversant with the new media and with foreign languages. Physicists are much in demand on the labour market. As an aid in making the important decision on where and what to study, the Heidelberg Faculty has produced a CD-ROM choc-a-bloc with information on what studying physics and astronomy in Heidelberg actually involves.

Texts, images, films and the spoken word combine to provide a multi-media presentation of every conceivable aspect of a course of study at one of Germany's most eminent seats of higher learning. Alongside more formal things like study profiles and exam regulations potential students can plug in to a lecture, do an aptitude test or read a diploma thesis. The most exciting part is without doubt the section on research. The Faculty has a broad spectrum to offer, from particle physics and applications in medicine, ecological sciences and electronics all the way up to issues of crucial import in cosmology and astrophysics.

All the Faculty's research groups explain their concerns on this CD in the hope of arousing interest among their youthful audience for specific areas of this fascinating branch of science. The presentation rounds off with a virtual tour of the new physics building (at present in the planning stage), information on special courses in technical informatics and many other topics.

The CD can be used on almost any conventional computer with an Internet browser. There is no need for an actual Internet connection. But students with access to the Web can additionally click up information directly from Heidelberg or exchange e-mails with Faculty members. The CD-ROM is available to all interested youngsters, not only at booth B35 in hall 16 at the fair but also direct from the Faculty.

Please address any inquiries to:
Oberregierungsrat Heiko Klase
Trade Fair Liaison Officer
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/568990, fax: 563502

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

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Copyright © Pressestelle der Universität Heidelberg.
Updated: 29.02.00





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