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Eberhard Bodenschatz

Adjunct Professor

Experimental investigation of nonlinear systems in physics, geophysics, biology, and medicine: turbulence, cloud micro physics, synthetic biology, physics to medicine, cell migration chemotaxis, cardiac arrhythmias; particle tracking, digital microscopy, high performance image processing, development of advanced measurement techniques, cell and tissue engineering, and computational analysis and modeling.


Nonlinear out-off-equilibrium systems impact all levels of our everyday lives from ecology, sociology and economics, to biology, medicine, chemistry and physics. Typically these systems show self-organization and complex, sometimes unpredictable spatio-temporal dynamics. Although different in detail, the temporal and spatial structure of these systems can often be described by unifying principles.

Searching for and understanding these principles is at the center of our group’s research. To achieve this goal, we are focusing on well-defined problems in the physics of fluid dynamics, of synthetic and cellular biology, and of medical relevance. Currently we are investigating experimentally and theoretically pattern formation and spatiotemporal chaos in thermal convection. We study particle transport in the fully developed turbulence of simple and complex fluids with its implication to fundamental theories, but also to practical issues like turbulent mixing and particle aggregation. We collaborate on the topic of turbulence with Greg Bewley and  Lance Collins from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, G. Ahlers from UCSB, D. Lohse from Twente, Alain Pumir from ENS Lyon, Ray Shaw from the Michigan Tech., Holger Siebert from the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig, and Joerg Schumacher from the Technical University Illmenau. Together with cardiologists  we investigate the dynamics of the mammalian heart at the cellular and organ scale.  We conduct experiments in biophysics and nano-biocomplexity using advanced micro-fluidic devices.

Awards and Honors

  • Vice Chair, Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section of the Max Planck Society
  • Past Chair of the Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section of the Max Planck Society, 2014-2017
  • Chair Professor Tsinghua University, 2017-present
  • Editor in Chief, New Journal of Physics, 2005-2016
  • École normale supérieure de Lyon, Doctor honorois causa
  • American Physical Society, Stanley Corrsin Award
  • Past Director of the Materials Research Society
  • Member of the Advisory Board of arXiv
  • Past Member of the Steering Committee of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, UC Santa Barbara
  • American Physical Society, Fellow
  • EUROMEC Fellow
  • Cottrell Scholar, 1995 
  • Alfred P. Sloan Fellow, 1993-1995

Educational Background

  • Director, Max Plank Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization 2005-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Physics, Cornell, 2005-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell, 2005-present
  • Professor of Physics University of Göttingen, 2007-present
  • Visiting appointments at the University of California at San Diego and the Institute for Theoretical Physics, Santa Barbara
  • Professor, Physics, Cornell, 2003-2005
  • Associate Professor, Physics, Cornell, 1998-2004
  • Assistant Professor, Physics, Cornell, 1992-1998
  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1989-1992
  • Research Associate, University of Bayreuth, 1987-1989
  • Dr. rer nat., 1989, Physics, University of Bayreuth
  • Diplom, 1985, Physics, University of Bayreuth
  • Vordiplom, Physics, 1982, University of Bayreuth