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JARA – Jülich Aachen Research Alliance

Focusing Expertise - Shaping the Future
In the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA), RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich pool their outstanding expertise in six research sections. These common efforts open up

new research opportunities and facilitate projects that would not be attainable for either of the partners on their own. Furthermore, their attention is always focused on the grand challenges facing society.

What happens in the brain when we are not doing anything in particular? In other words, what is going on when the human brain is ‘at rest’? One might think the brain’s functional activity decreases to a low-maintenance baseline – similar to the screen saver of a computer. In the early 2000s, neuroscientist noticed for the first time a coherent set of brain regions that systematically increased (not decreased!) in idling humans. In contrast to the computer screen saver, in the baseline of the brain, some regions remain highly active and potentially never really “stop working”. Together these energy-hungry regions subserve a yet-to-be-uncovered baseline function of the human brain - which became known as the ‘default mode network’ (DMN).

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JARA | ENERGY

At the Institute for Combustion Technology at RWTH Aachen University, headed by JARA-ENERGY Member Prof. Heinz Pitsch, one major research objective deals with the challenges of hydrogen combustion in the context of sustainable energy concepts. Hydrogen represents a promising fuel, which combines a feasible and well understood production process with clean combustion. However, before hydrogen combustion becomes fully applicable in actual engines, a deeper understanding of its combustion behavior is required.

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JARA | FIT

The research team led by Dr. Gerard Verbiest and JARA-FIT scientist Prof. Christoph Stampfer at the Physics Department at the RWTH Aachen University, discovered a new possibility for ultrasound detection. The physicists fabricated a graphene resonator on a silicon substrate in a way that the device could be mounted onto an ultrasound transducer.

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