PD Dr. Peter Keim

Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

  • Studying Physics in Frankfurt/Main and Konstanz
  • 1998 Diploma in Physics
  • 2005 Dr. rer. nat (Physics) University of Konstanz
  • 2005-2007 Postdoc Fellowship of German Research Foundation at Karl-Franzens University, Graz, Austria
  • 2007-2011 Group leader at the chair of Prof. Maret, Uni Konstanz
  • 2011-2019 Head of Junior Research Group, University of Konstanz
  • Lecturing since 2011
  • 2015 Habilitation and venia legendi, Department of Physics, University of Konstanz
  • 2016 Gustav-Hertz-Price of the German Physical Society
  • 2016-2018 Deputy Professor, University of Konstanz
  • 2019-2021 Start Up Co-founder, Kormoran Technologies
  • Since 2022 Heisenberg-fellow at MPI-DS, Group leader Experimental Statistical Physics

Major Research Interests
Physics of 2D crystals and glasses beyond equilibrium:
Using a 2D soft matter system, we investigate the physics of low-dimensional systems which frequently shows a much richer variety in excited states compared to 3D counterparts. A colloidal monolayer is monitored during self organization and data with "atomic” resolution on all relevant time scales serve the complete phase space information. With this class of experiments we investigate

  • Topological phase transition in 2D and validated Kosterlitz-Thouless-Halperin-Nelson-Young-theory (Nobel Prize 2016 for M. Kosterlitz and D. Thouless).
  • Soft modes destroying symmetry breaking in D<3 ( Mermin-Wagner-Hohenberg fluctuations ) which questioned if 2D crystals (e.g. like Graphene) can exist at all.
  • Symmetry breaking beyond equilibrium in ensembles not connected by causality. This so-called Kibble-Zurek mechanism was discussed to incorporate topological defects in the primordial Higgs-field shortly after Big-Bang. We can mimic this effect in colloidal monolayers after sudden quenches of the control parameter.
  • 2D glasses and vitrification, focussing on elasticity rather than viscosity, investigation of dynamical heterogeneities, point to set correlation functions and Kauzmann’s paradox when random disorder is tuned actively.

  • Homepage Department/Research Group

    Selected Recent Publications

    • B. Illing, S. Fritschi, H. Kaiser, C. Klix, G. Maret, P. Keim (2017) Mermin-Wagner fluctuations in 2D amorphous solids, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 114, 1856
    • C. Klix, G. Maret, P. Keim (2015) Discontinuous shear modulus determines the glass transition temperature, Phys. Rev. X 5, 041033
    • S. Deutschländer, P. Dillmann, G. Maret, P. Keim (2015) Kibble-Zurek mechanism in colloidal monolayers, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112, 6925
    • S. Deutschländer, A. Puertas, G. Maret, P. Keim (2014) Specific heat in two-dimensional melting, Phys. Rev. Lett. 113, 127801
    • U. Gasser, C. Eisenmann, G. Maret, P. Keim (2010) Melting of crystals in two dimensions, ChemPhysChem 11/5, 936