Friedrich Paneth (1887-1958), Director of the MPI for Chemistry, in front of appliances, ca. 1956.
Source: Archive of the Max Planck Society, Berlin Dahlem

Chemistry, Physics and Material Sciences

Thomas Steinhauser's research focuses on the study of metals, polymer and semiconductors; on surface sciences; astrophysics; nuclear research; high-energy physics; and on laser physics and geophysics. Since 1948 more than 50 Max Planck Institutes have been active in these fields. His goal is to investigate the genesis of new knowledge, and to trace its historical development in terms of the emergence of personnel, structures and institutions (clustering; the role of large-scale institutional research). Due to the multidimensional importance of these research fields for the MPG it is imperative to analyze the production of natural science knowledge in connection with broader contexts as well (contemporary history, politics, economics and society).