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Kosmologie beschreibt die Entwicklung des Universums als Ganzes. Kosmologische Entdeckungen in Theorie und Praxis haben daher unser modernes wissenschaftliches Weltbild entscheidend geprägt. Die Vermittlung eines modernen Weltbildes durch Unterricht ist ein häufiger Wunsch in der naturwissenschaftlichen Bildungsdiskussion. Dennoch existieren weiterhin Forschungs- und Entwicklungsbedarfe. Kosmologische Themen finden sich häufig in den Medien und sind gleichzeitig weiter vom Alltag entfernt, so dass sich hier besonders leicht wissenschaftlich inkorrekte Vorstellungen entwickeln können, die zu Problemen im Unterricht führen können.
Das Ziel dieser wissenschaftlichen Arbeit ist es, zu diesem Forschungsgebiet beizutragen und die Voraussetzungen hinsichtlich vorhandener Vorkenntnisse und Präkonzepte in Kosmologie, mit denen Schülerinnen und Schüler in den Unterricht kommen, zu untersuchen und anschließend mit denen anderer Länder zu vergleichen. Dies erfolgt anhand einer qualitativen Inhaltsanalyse eines offenen Fragebogens. Auf dieser Grundlage wird schließlich ein Multiple-Choice Fragebogen entwickelt, angewendet und evaluiert.
Die Ergebnisse zeigen große Wissenslücken im Bereich der Kosmologie auf und geben erste Hinweise auf vorhandene Unterschiede zwischen den Ländern. Es existieren ebenfalls einige teils weit verbreitete wissenschaftlich inkorrekte Vorstellungen wie beispielsweise die Assoziation des Urknalls mit einer Explosion, der Urknall verursacht durch eine Kollision von Teilchen oder größeren Objekten, oder die Vorstellung der Ausdehnung des Universums als neue Entdeckungen und/oder Wissen. Des Weiteren gab nur etwa jeder Fünfte das korrekte Alter des Universums oder die Ausdehnung des Universums als einen der drei Belege der Urknalltheorie an, während fast 40% keinen einzigen Beleg nennen konnten. Für den geschlossenen Fragebogen konnten gute Hinweise für verschiedene Validitätsaspekte herausgearbeitet werden und es existieren erste Hinweise darauf, dass der Fragebogen Wissenszuwachs messen kann und damit wahrscheinlich zur Untersuchung der Wirksamkeit von Lerneinheiten eingesetzt werden kann. Auch ein entsprechendes Modell zur Verständnisentwicklung der Ausdehnung des Universums zeigte sich vielversprechend.
Diese Arbeit liefert insgesamt einen Forschungsbeitrag zum Schülervorwissen und Vorstellungen in der Kosmologie und deren Large Scale Assessment. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit zukünftiger Forschungen im Bereich von Gruppenvergleichen insbesondere hinsichtlich objektiver Ländervergleiche sowie der Untersuchungen der Wirksamkeit von einzelnen Lerneinheiten als auch Vergleiche verschiedener Lerneinheiten untereinander.

The unceasing impact of intense sunlight on earth constitutes a continuous source of energy fueling countless natural processes. On a molecular level, the energy contained in the electromagnetic radiation is transferred through photochemical processes into chemical or thermal energy. In the course of such processes, photo-excitations promote molecules into thermally inaccessible excited states. This induces adaptations of their molecular geometry according to the properties of the excited state. Decay processes towards energetically lower lying states in transient molecular geometries result in the formation of excited state relaxation pathways. The photo-chemical relaxation mechanisms depend on the studied system itself, the interactions with its chemical environment and the character of the involved states. This thesis focuses on systems in which photo-induced deprotonation processes occur at specific atomic sites.
To detect these excited-state proton dynamics at the affected atoms, a local probe of molecular electronic structure is required. Therefore, site-selective and orbital-specific K-edge soft X-ray spectroscopy techniques are used here to detect photo-induced proton dynamics in gaseous and liquid sample environments. The protonation of nitrogen (N) sites in organic molecules and the oxygen (O) atom in the water molecule are probed locally through transitions between 1s orbitals and the p-derived molecular valence electronic structure. The used techniques are X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and resonant inelastic X-ray scattering (RIXS). Both yield access to the unoccupied local valence electronic structure, whereas the latter additionally probes occupied states.
We apply these probes in optical pump X-ray probe experiments to investigate valence excited-state proton transfer capabilities of aqueous 2-thiopyridone. A characteristic shift of N K-edge X-ray absorption resonances as well as a distinct X-ray emission line are established by us as spectral fingerprints of N deprotonation in the system. We utilize them to identify photo-induced N deprotonation of 2-thiopyridone on femtosecond timescales, in optical pump N K-edge RIXS probe measurements. We further establish excited state proton transfer mechanisms on picosecond and nanosecond timescales along the dominant relaxation pathways of 2-thiopyridone using transient N K-edge XAS.
Despite being an excellent probe mechanism for valence excited-state proton dynamics, the K-edge core-excitation itself also disturbs the electronic structure at specific sites of a molecule. The rapid reaction of protons to 1s photo-excitations can yield directional structural distortions within the femtosecond core-excited state lifetime. These directional proton dynamics can change the energetic separation of eigenstates of the system and alter probabilities for radiative decay between them. Both effects yield spectral signatures of the dynamics in RIXS spectra.
Using these signatures of RIXS transitions into electronically excited states, we investigate proton dynamics induced by N K-edge excitation in the amino-acid histidine. The minor core-excited state dynamics of histidine in basic and neutral chemical environments allow us to establish XAS and RIXS spectral signatures of different N protonation states at its imidazole N sites. Based on these signatures, we identify an excitation-site-independent N-H dissociation for N K-edge excitation under acidic conditions.
Such directional structural deformations, induced by core-excitations, also make proton dynamics in electronic ground states accessible through RIXS transitions into vibrationally excited states. In that context, we interpret high resolution RIXS spectra of the water molecule for three O K-edge resonances based on quantum-chemical wave packet propagation simulations. We show that highly oriented ground state vibrational modes of coupled nuclear motion can be populated through RIXS processes by preparation of core-excited state nuclear wave packets with the same directionality. Based on that, we analytically derive the possibility to extract one-dimensional directional cuts through potential energy surfaces of molecular systems from the corresponding RIXS spectra. We further verify this concept through the extraction of the gas-phase water ground state potential along three coordinates from experimental data in comparison to quantum-chemical simulations of the potential energy surface.
This thesis also contains contributions to instrumentation development for investigations of photo-induced molecular dynamics at high brilliance X-ray light sources. We characterize the setup used for the transient valence-excited state XAS measurements of 2-thiopyridone. Therein, a sub-micrometer thin liquid sample environment is established employing in-vacuum flat-jet technology, which enables a transmission experimental geometry. In combination with a MHz-laser system, we achieve a high detection sensitivity for photo-induced X-ray absorption changes. Additionally, we present conceptual improvements for temporal X-ray optical cross-correlation techniques based on transient changes of multilayer optical properties, which are crucial for the realization of femtosecond time-resolved studies at synchrotrons and free-electron lasers.

In this work we investigated ultrafast demagnetization in a Heusler-alloy. This material belongs to the halfmetal and exists in a ferromagnetic phase. A special feature of investigated alloy is a structure of electronic bands. The last leads to the specific density of the states. Majority electrons form a metallic like structure while minority electrons form a gap near the Fermi-level, like in semiconductor. This particularity offers a good possibility to use this material as model-like structure and to make some proof of principles concerning demagnetization. Using pump-probe experiments we carried out time-resolved measurements to figure out the times of demagnetization. For the pumping we used ultrashort laser pulses with duration around 100 fs. Simultaneously we used two excitation regimes with two different wavelengths namely 400 nm and 1240 nm. Decreasing the energy of photons to the gap size of the minority electrons we explored the effect of the gap on the demagnetization dynamics. During this work we used for the first time OPA (Optical Parametrical Amplifier) for the generation of the laser irradiation in a long-wave regime. We tested it on the FETOSPEX-beamline in BASSYII electron storage ring. With this new technique we measured wavelength dependent demagnetization dynamics. We estimated that the demagnetization time is in a correlation with photon energy of the excitation pulse. Higher photon energy leads to the faster demagnetization in our material. We associate this result with the existence of the energy-gap for minority electrons and explained it with Elliot-Yaffet-scattering events. Additionally we applied new probe-method for magnetization state in this work and verified their effectivity. It is about the well-known XMCD (X-ray magnetic circular dichroism) which we adopted for the measurements in reflection geometry. Static experiments confirmed that the pure electronic dynamics can be separated from the magnetic one. We used photon energy fixed on the L3 of the corresponding elements with circular polarization. Appropriate incidence angel was estimated from static measurements. Using this probe method in dynamic measurements we explored electronic and magnetic dynamics in this alloy.

Advancing charge selective contacts for efficient monolithic perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells
(2019)

Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites are one of the most promising material classes for photovoltaic energy conversion. In solar cells, the perovskite absorber is sandwiched between n- and p-type contact layers which selectively transport electrons and holes to the cell’s cathode and anode, respectively. This thesis aims to advance contact layers in perovskite solar cells and unravel the impact of interface and contact properties on the device performance. Further, the contact materials are applied in monolithic perovskite-silicon heterojunction (SHJ) tandem solar cells, which can overcome the single junction efficiency limits and attract increasing attention. Therefore, all contact layers must be highly transparent to foster light harvesting in the tandem solar cell design. Besides, the SHJ device restricts processing temperatures for the selective contacts to below 200°C.
A comparative study of various electron selective contact materials, all processed below 180°C, in n-i-p type perovskite solar cells highlights that selective contacts and their interfaces to the absorber govern the overall device performance. Combining fullerenes and metal-oxides in a TiO2/PC60BM (phenyl-C60-butyric acid methyl ester) double-layer contact allows to merge good charge extraction with minimized interface recombination. The layer sequence thereby achieved high stabilized solar cell performances up to 18.0% and negligible current-voltage hysteresis, an otherwise pronounced phenomenon in this device design. Double-layer structures are therefore emphasized as a general concept to establish efficient and highly selective contacts.
Based on this success, the concept to combine desired properties of different materials is transferred to the p-type contact. Here, a mixture of the small molecule Spiro-OMeTAD [2,2’,7,7’-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenylamine)-9,9’-spirobifluoren] and the doped polymer PEDOT [poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)] is presented as a novel hole selective contact. PEDOT thereby remarkably suppresses charge recombination at the perovskite surface, allowing an increase of quasi-Fermi level splitting in the absorber. Further, the addition of Spiro-OMeTAD into the PEDOT layer is shown to enhance charge extraction at the interface and allow high efficiencies up to 16.8%.
Finally, the knowledge on contact properties is applied to monolithic perovskite-SHJ tandem solar cells. The main goal is to optimize the top contact stack of doped Spiro-OMeTAD/molybdenum oxide(MoOx)/ITO towards higher transparency by two different routes. First, fine-tuning of the ITO deposition to mitigate chemical reduction of MoOx and increase the transmittance of MoOx/ITO stacks by 25%. Second, replacing Spiro-OMeTAD with the alternative hole transport materials PEDOT/Spiro-OMeTAD mixtures, CuSCN or PTAA [poly(triaryl amine)]. Experimental results determine layer thickness constrains and validate optical simulations, which subsequently allow to realistically estimate the respective tandem device performances. As a result, PTAA represents the most promising replacement for Spiro-OMeTAD, with a projected increase of the optimum tandem device efficiency for the herein used architecture by 2.9% relative to 26.5% absolute. The results also reveal general guidelines for further performance gains of the technology.

A reliable inference of networks from data is of key interest in many scientific fields. Several methods have been suggested in the literature to reliably determine links in a network. These techniques rely on statistical methods, typically controlling the number of false positive links, but not considering false negative links. In this thesis new methodologies to improve network inference are suggested. Initial analyses demonstrate the impact of falsepositive and false negative conclusions about the presence or absence of links on the resulting inferred network. Consequently, revealing the importance of making well-considered choices leads to suggest new approaches to enhance existing network reconstruction methods.
A simulation study, presented in Chapter 3, shows that different values to balance false positive and false negative conclusions about links should be used in order to reliably estimate network characteristics. The existence of type I and type II errors in the reconstructed network, also called biased network, is accepted. Consequently, an analytic method that describes the influence of these two errors on the network structure is explored. As a result of this analysis, an analytic formula of the density of the biased vertex degree distribution is found (Chapter 4).
In the inverse problem, the vertex degree distribution of the true underlying network is analytically reconstructed, assuming the probabilities of type I and type II errors. Chapters 4-5 show that the method is robust to incorrect estimates of α and β within reasonable limits. In Chapter 6, an iterative procedure to enhance this method is presented in the case of large errors on the estimates of α and β.
The investigations presented so far focus on the influence of false positive and false negative links on the network characteristics. In Chapter 7, the analysis is reversed - the study focuses on the influence of network characteristics on the probability of type I and type II errors, in the case of networks of coupled oscillators. The probabilities of α and β are influenced by the shortest path length and the detour degree, respectively. These results have been used to improve the network reconstruction, when the true underlying network is not known a priori, introducing a novel and advanced concept of threshold.

Organic semiconductors are a promising class of materials. Their special properties are the particularly good absorption, low weight and easy processing into thin films. Therefore, intense research has been devoted to the realization of thin film organic solar cells (OPVs). Because of the low dielectric constant of organic semiconductors, primary excitations (excitons) are strongly bound and a type II heterojunction needs to be introduced to split these excitations into free charges. Therefore, most organic solar cells consist of at least an electron donor and electron acceptor material. For such donor acceptor systems mainly three states are relevant; the photoexcited exciton on the donor or acceptor material, the charge transfer state at the donor-acceptor interface and the charge separated state of a free electron and hole. The interplay between these states significantly determines the efficiency of organic solar cells. Due to the high absorption and the low charge carrier mobilities, the active layers are usually thin but also, exciton dissociation and free charge formation proceeds rapidely, which makes the study of carrier dynamics highly challenging.
Therefore, the focus of this work was first to install new experimental setups for the investigation of the charge carrier dynamics in complete devices with superior sensitivity and time resolution and, second, to apply these methods to prototypical photovoltaic materials to address specific questions in the field of organic and hybrid photovoltaics.
Regarding the first goal, a new setup combining transient absorption spectroscopy (TAS) and time delayed collection field (TDCF) was designed and installed in Potsdam. An important part of this work concerned the improvement of the electronic components with respect to time resolution and sensitivity. To this end, a highly sensitive amplifier for driving and detecting the device response in TDCF was developed. This system was then applied to selected organic and hybrid model systems with a particular focus on the understanding of the loss mechanisms that limit the fill factor and short circuit current of organic solar cells.
The first model system was a hybrid photovoltaic material comprising inorganic quantum dots decorated with organic ligands. Measurements with TDCF revealed fast free carrier recombination, in part assisted by traps, while bias-assisted charge extraction measurements showed high mobility. The measured parameters then served as input for a successful description of the device performance with an analytical model.
With a further improvement of the instrumentation, a second topic was the detailed analysis of non-geminate recombination in a disordered polymer:fullerene blend where an important question was the effect of disorder on the carrier dynamics. The measurements revealed that early time highly mobile charges undergo fast non-geminate recombination at the contacts, causing an apparent field dependence of free charge generation in TDCF experiments if not conducted properly. On the other hand, recombination the later time scale was determined by dispersive recombination in the bulk of the active layer, showing the characteristics of carrier dynamics in an exponential density of state distribution. Importantly, the comparison with steady state recombination data suggested a very weak impact of non-thermalized carriers on the recombination properties of the solar cells under application relevant illumination conditions.
Finally, temperature and field dependent studies of free charge generation were performed on three donor-acceptor combinations, with two donor polymers of the same material family blended with two different fullerene acceptor molecules. These particular material combinations were chosen to analyze the influence of the energetic and morphology of the blend on the efficiency of charge generation. To this end, activation energies for photocurrent generation were accurately determined for a wide range of excitation energies. The results prove that the formation of free charge is via thermalized charge transfer states and does not involve hot exciton splitting. Surprisingly, activation energies were of the order of thermal energy at room temperature. This led to the important conclusion that organic solar cells perform well not because of predominate high energy pathways but because the thermalized CT states are weakly bound. In addition, a model is introduced to interconnect the dissociation efficiency of the charge transfer state with its recombination observable with photoluminescence, which rules out a previously proposed two-pool model for free charge formation and recombination. Finally, based on the results, proposals for the further development of organic solar cells are formulated.

Synchronization – the adjustment of rhythms among coupled self-oscillatory systems – is a fascinating dynamical phenomenon found in many biological, social, and technical systems.
The present thesis deals with synchronization in finite ensembles of weakly coupled self-sustained oscillators with distributed frequencies.
The standard model for the description of this collective phenomenon is the Kuramoto model – partly due to its analytical tractability in the thermodynamic limit of infinitely many oscillators. Similar to a phase transition in the thermodynamic limit, an order parameter indicates the transition from incoherence to a partially synchronized state. In the latter, a part of the oscillators rotates at a common frequency. In the finite case, fluctuations occur, originating from the quenched noise of the finite natural frequency sample.
We study intermediate ensembles of a few hundred oscillators in which fluctuations are comparably strong but which also allow for a comparison to frequency distributions in the infinite limit.
First, we define an alternative order parameter for the indication of a collective mode in the finite case. Then we test the dependence of the degree of synchronization and the mean rotation frequency of the collective mode on different characteristics for different coupling strengths.
We find, first numerically, that the degree of synchronization depends strongly on the form (quantified by kurtosis) of the natural frequency sample and the rotation frequency of the collective mode depends on the asymmetry (quantified by skewness) of the sample. Both findings are verified in the infinite limit.
With these findings, we better understand and generalize observations of other authors. A bit aside of the general line of thoughts, we find an analytical expression for the volume contraction in phase space.
The second part of this thesis concentrates on an ordering effect of the finite-size fluctuations. In the infinite limit, the oscillators are separated into coherent and incoherent thus ordered and disordered oscillators. In finite ensembles, finite-size fluctuations can generate additional order among the asynchronous oscillators. The basic principle – noise-induced synchronization – is known from several recent papers. Among coupled oscillators, phases are pushed together by the order parameter fluctuations, as we on the one hand show directly and on the other hand quantify with a synchronization measure from directed statistics between pairs of passive oscillators.
We determine the dependence of this synchronization measure from the ratio of pairwise natural frequency difference and variance of the order parameter fluctuations. We find a good agreement with a simple analytical model, in which we replace the deterministic fluctuations of the order parameter by white noise.

The importance of plasmonic heating for the plasmondriven photodimerization of 4-nitrothiophenol
(2019)

Metal nanoparticles form potent nanoreactors, driven by the optical generation of energetic electrons and nanoscale heat. The relative influence of these two factors on nanoscale chemistry is strongly debated. This article discusses the temperature dependence of the dimerization of 4-nitrothiophenol (4-NTP) into 4,4′-dimercaptoazobenzene (DMAB) adsorbed on gold nanoflowers by Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS). Raman thermometry shows a significant optical heating of the particles. The ratio of the Stokes and the anti-Stokes Raman signal moreover demonstrates that the molecular temperature during the reaction rises beyond the average crystal lattice temperature of the plasmonic particles. The product bands have an even higher temperature than reactant bands, which suggests that the reaction proceeds preferentially at thermal hot spots. In addition, kinetic measurements of the reaction during external heating of the reaction environment yield a considerable rise of the reaction rate with temperature. Despite this significant heating effects, a comparison of SERS spectra recorded after heating the sample by an external heater to spectra recorded after prolonged illumination shows that the reaction is strictly photo-driven. While in both cases the temperature increase is comparable, the dimerization occurs only in the presence of light. Intensity dependent measurements at fixed temperatures confirm this finding.

Membrane adhesion is a fundamental biological process in which membranes are attached to neighboring membranes or surfaces. Membrane adhesion emerges from a complex interplay between the binding of membrane-anchored receptors/ligands and the membrane properties. In this work, we study membrane adhesion mediated by lipid-anchored saccharides using microsecond-long full-atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. Motivated by neutron scattering experiments on membrane adhesion via lipid-anchored saccharides, we investigate the role of LeX, Lac1, and Lac2 saccharides and membrane fluctuations in membrane adhesion.
We study the binding of saccharides in three different systems: for saccharides in water, for saccharides anchored to essentially planar membranes at fixed separations, and for saccharides anchored to apposing fluctuating membranes. Our simulations of two saccharides in water indicate that the saccharides engage in weak interactions to form dimers. We find that the binding occurs in a continuum of bound states instead of a certain number of well-defined bound structures, which we term as "diffuse binding".
The binding of saccharides anchored to essentially planar membranes strongly depends on separation of the membranes, which is fixed in our simulation system. We show that the binding constants for trans-interactions of two lipid-anchored saccharides monotonically decrease with increasing separation. Saccharides anchored to the same membrane leaflet engage in cis-interactions with binding constants comparable to the trans-binding constants at the smallest membrane separations. The interplay of cis- and trans-binding can be investigated in simulation systems with many lipid-anchored saccharides. For Lac2, our simulation results indicate a positive cooperativity of trans- and cis-binding. In this cooperative binding the trans-binding constant is enhanced by the cis-interactions. For LeX, in contrast, we observe no cooperativity between trans- and cis-binding. In addition, we determine the forces generated by trans-binding of lipid-anchored saccharides in planar membranes from the binding-induced deviations of the lipid-anchors. We find that the forces acting on trans-bound saccharides increase with increasing membrane separation to values of the order of 10 pN.
The binding of saccharides anchored to the fluctuating membranes results from an interplay between the binding properties of the lipid-anchored saccharides and membrane fluctuations. Our simulations, which have the same average separation of the membranes as obtained from the neutron scattering experiments, yield a binding constant larger than in planar membranes with the same separation. This result demonstrates that membrane fluctuations play an important role at average membrane separations which are seemingly too large for effective binding. We further show that the probability distribution of the local separation can be well approximated by a Gaussian distribution. We calculate the relative membrane roughness and show that our results are in good agreement with the roughness values reported from the neutron scattering experiments.

In the here presented work we discuss a series of results that are all in one way or another connected to the phenomenon of trapping in black hole spacetimes.
First we present a comprehensive review of the Kerr-Newman-Taub-NUT-de-Sitter family of black hole spacetimes and their most important properties. From there we go into a detailed analysis of the bahaviour of null geodesics in the exterior region of a sub-extremal Kerr spacetime. We show that most well known fundamental properties of null geodesics can be represented in one plot. In particular, one can see immediately that the ergoregion and trapping are separated in phase space.
We then consider the sets of future/past trapped null geodesics in the exterior region of a sub-extremal Kerr-Newman-Taub-NUT spacetime. We show that from the point of view of any timelike observer outside of such a black hole, trapping can be understood as two smooth sets of spacelike directions on the celestial sphere of the observer. Therefore the topological structure of the trapped set on the celestial sphere of any observer is identical to that in Schwarzschild.
We discuss how this is relevant to the black hole stability problem.
In a further development of these observations we introduce the notion of what it means for the shadow of two observers to be degenerate. We show that, away from the axis of symmetry, no continuous degeneration exists between the shadows of observers at any point in the exterior region of any Kerr-Newman black hole spacetime of unit mass. Therefore, except possibly for discrete changes, an observer can, by measuring the black holes shadow, determine the angular momentum and the charge of the black hole under observation, as well as the observer's radial position and angle of elevation above the equatorial plane. Furthermore, his/her relative velocity compared to a standard observer can also be measured. On the other hand, the black hole shadow does not allow for a full parameter resolution in the case of a Kerr-Newman-Taub-NUT black hole, as a continuous degeneration relating specific angular momentum, electric charge, NUT charge and elevation angle exists in this case.
We then use the celestial sphere to show that trapping is a generic feature of any black hole spacetime.
In the last chapter we then prove a generalization of the mode stability result of Whiting (1989) for the Teukolsky equation for the case of real frequencies. The main result of the last chapter states that a separated solution of the Teukolsky equation governing massless test fields on the Kerr spacetime, which is purely outgoing at infinity, and purely ingoing at the horizon, must vanish. This has the consequence, that for real frequencies, there are linearly independent fundamental solutions of the radial Teukolsky equation which are purely ingoing at the horizon, and purely outgoing at infinity, respectively. This fact yields a representation formula for solutions of the inhomogenous Teukolsky equation, and was recently used by Shlapentokh-Rothman (2015) for the scalar wave equation.

In this thesis, we treat the extreme Newman-Penrose components of both the Maxwell field (s=±1) and the linearized gravitational perturbations (or "linearized gravity" for short) (s=±2) in the exterior of a slowly rotating Kerr black hole. Upon different rescalings, we can obtain spin s components which satisfy the separable Teukolsky master equation (TME). For each of these spin s components defined in Kinnersley tetrad, the resulting equations by performing some first-order differential operator on it once and twice (twice only for s=±2), together with the TME, are in the form of an "inhomogeneous spin-weighted wave equation" (ISWWE) with different potentials and constitute a linear spin-weighted wave system. We then prove energy and integrated local energy decay (Morawetz) estimates for this type of ISWWE, and utilize them to achieve both a uniform bound of a positive definite energy and a Morawetz estimate for the regular extreme Newman-Penrose components defined in the regular Hawking-Hartle tetrad.
We also present some brief discussions on mode stability for TME for the case of real frequencies. This says that in a fixed subextremal Kerr spacetime, there is no nontrivial separated mode solutions to TME which are purely ingoing at horizon and purely outgoing at infinity. This yields a representation formula for solutions to inhomogeneous Teukolsky equations, and will play a crucial role in generalizing the above energy and Morawetz estimates results to the full subextremal Kerr case.

The purpose of Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment (PSHA) at a construction site is to provide the engineers with a probabilistic estimate of ground-motion level that could be equaled or exceeded at least once in the structure’s design lifetime. A certainty on the predicted ground-motion allows the engineers to confidently optimize structural design and mitigate the risk of extensive damage, or in worst case, a collapse. It is therefore in interest of engineering, insurance, disaster mitigation, and security of society at large, to reduce uncertainties in prediction of design ground-motion levels.
In this study, I am concerned with quantifying and reducing the prediction uncertainty of regression-based Ground-Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs). Essentially, GMPEs are regressed best-fit formulae relating event, path, and site parameters (predictor variables) to observed ground-motion values at the site (prediction variable). GMPEs are characterized by a parametric median (μ) and a non-parametric variance (σ) of prediction. μ captures the known ground-motion physics i.e., scaling with earthquake rupture properties (event), attenuation with distance from source (region/path), and amplification due to local soil conditions (site); while σ quantifies the natural variability of data that eludes μ. In a broad sense, the GMPE prediction uncertainty is cumulative of 1) uncertainty on estimated regression coefficients (uncertainty on μ,σ_μ), and 2) the inherent natural randomness of data (σ). The extent of μ parametrization, the quantity, and quality of ground-motion data used in a regression, govern the size of its prediction uncertainty: σ_μ and σ.
In the first step, I present the impact of μ parametrization on the size of σ_μ and σ. Over-parametrization appears to increase the σ_μ, because of the large number of regression coefficients (in μ) to be estimated with insufficient data. Under-parametrization mitigates σ_μ, but the reduced explanatory strength of μ is reflected in inflated σ. For an optimally parametrized GMPE, a ~10% reduction in σ is attained by discarding the low-quality data from pan-European events with incorrect parametric values (of predictor variables).
In case of regions with scarce ground-motion recordings, without under-parametrization, the only way to mitigate σ_μ is to substitute long-term earthquake data at a location with short-term samples of data across several locations – the Ergodic Assumption. However, the price of ergodic assumption is an increased σ, due to the region-to-region and site-to-site differences in ground-motion physics. σ of an ergodic GMPE developed from generic ergodic dataset is much larger than that of non-ergodic GMPEs developed from region- and site-specific non-ergodic subsets - which were too sparse to produce their specific GMPEs. Fortunately, with the dramatic increase in recorded ground-motion data at several sites across Europe and Middle-East, I could quantify the region- and site-specific differences in ground-motion scaling and upgrade the GMPEs with 1) substantially more accurate region- and site-specific μ for sites in Italy and Turkey, and 2) significantly smaller prediction variance σ. The benefit of such enhancements to GMPEs is quite evident in my comparison of PSHA estimates from ergodic versus region- and site-specific GMPEs; where the differences in predicted design ground-motion levels, at several sites in Europe and Middle-Eastern regions, are as large as ~50%.
Resolving the ergodic assumption with mixed-effects regressions is feasible when the quantified region- and site-specific effects are physically meaningful, and the non-ergodic subsets (regions and sites) are defined a priori through expert knowledge. In absence of expert definitions, I demonstrate the potential of machine learning techniques in identifying efficient clusters of site-specific non-ergodic subsets, based on latent similarities in their ground-motion data. Clustered site-specific GMPEs bridge the gap between site-specific and fully ergodic GMPEs, with their partially non-ergodic μ and, σ ~15% smaller than the ergodic variance.
The methodological refinements to GMPE development produced in this study are applicable to new ground-motion datasets, to further enhance certainty of ground-motion prediction and thereby, seismic hazard assessment. Advanced statistical tools show great potential in improving the predictive capabilities of GMPEs, but the fundamental requirement remains: large quantity of high-quality ground-motion data from several sites for an extended time-period.

In the present work, we use symbolic regression for automated modeling of dynamical systems. Symbolic regression is a powerful and general method suitable for data-driven identification of mathematical expressions. In particular, the structure and parameters of those expressions are identified simultaneously.
We consider two main variants of symbolic regression: sparse regression-based and genetic programming-based symbolic regression. Both are applied to identification, prediction and control of dynamical systems.
We introduce a new methodology for the data-driven identification of nonlinear dynamics for systems undergoing abrupt changes. Building on a sparse regression algorithm derived earlier, the model after the change is defined as a minimum update with respect to a reference model of the system identified prior to the change. The technique is successfully exemplified on the chaotic Lorenz system and the van der Pol oscillator. Issues such as computational complexity, robustness against noise and requirements with respect to data volume are investigated.
We show how symbolic regression can be used for time series prediction. Again, issues such as robustness against noise and convergence rate are investigated us- ing the harmonic oscillator as a toy problem. In combination with embedding, we demonstrate the prediction of a propagating front in coupled FitzHugh-Nagumo oscillators. Additionally, we show how we can enhance numerical weather predictions to commercially forecast power production of green energy power plants.
We employ symbolic regression for synchronization control in coupled van der Pol oscillators. Different coupling topologies are investigated. We address issues such as plausibility and stability of the control laws found. The toolkit has been made open source and is used in turbulence control applications.
Genetic programming based symbolic regression is very versatile and can be adapted to many optimization problems. The heuristic-based algorithm allows for cost efficient optimization of complex tasks.
We emphasize the ability of symbolic regression to yield white-box models. In contrast to black-box models, such models are accessible and interpretable which allows the usage of established tool chains.

The Sun is the nearest star to the Earth. It consists of an interior and an atmosphere. The convection zone is the outermost layer of the solar interior. A flux rope may emerge as a coherent structure from the convection zone into the solar atmosphere or be formed by magnetic reconnection in the atmosphere. A flux rope is a bundle of magnetic field lines twisting around an axis field line, creating a helical shape by which dense filament material can be supported against gravity. The flux rope is also considered as the key structure of the most energetic phenomena in the solar system, such as coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and flares. These magnetic flux ropes can produce severe geomagnetic storms. In particular, to improve the ability to forecast space weather, it is important to enrich our knowledge about the dynamic formation of flux ropes and the underlying physical mechanisms that initiate their eruption, such as a CME.
A confined eruption consists of a filament eruption and usually an associated are, but does not evolve into a CME; rather, the moving plasma is halted in the solar corona and usually seen to fall back. The first detailed observations of a confined filament eruption were obtained on 2002 May 27by the TRACE satellite in the 195 A band. So, in the Chapter 3, we focus on a flux rope instability model. A twisted flux rope can become unstable by entering the kink instability regime. We show that the kink instability, which occurs if the twist of a flux rope exceeds a critical value, is capable of initiating of an eruption. This model is tested against the well observed confined eruption on 2002 May 27 in a parametric magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulation study that comprises all phases of the event. Very good agreement with the essential observed properties is obtained, only except for a relatively poor matching of the initial filament height.
Therefore, in Chapter 4, we submerge the center point of the flux rope deeper below the photosphere to obtain a flatter coronal rope section and a better matching with the initial height profile of the erupting filament. This implies a more realistic inclusion of the photospheric line tying. All basic assumptions and the other parameter settings are kept the same as in Chapter 3. This complement of the parametric study shows that the flux rope instability model can yield an even better match with the observational data. We also focus in Chapters 3 and 4 on the magnetic reconnection during the confined eruption, demonstrating that it occurs in two distinct locations and phases that correspond to the observed brightenings and changes of topology, and consider the fate of the erupting flux, which can reform a (less twisted) flux rope.
The Sun also produces series of homologous eruptions, i.e. eruptions which occur repetitively in the same active region and are of similar morphology. Therefore, in Chapter 5, we employ the reformed flux rope as a new initial condition, to investigate the possibility of subsequent homologous eruptions. Free magnetic energy is built up by imposing motions in the bottom boundary, such as converging motions, leading to flux cancellation. We apply converging motions in the sunspot area, such that a small part of the flux from the sunspots with different polarities is transported toward the polarity inversion line (PIL) and cancels with each other. The reconnection associated with the cancellation process forms more helical magnetic flux around the reformed flux rope, which leads to a second and a third eruption. In this study, we obtain the first MHD simulation results of a homologous sequence of eruptions that show a transition from a confined to two ejective eruptions, based on the reformation of a flux rope after each eruption.

The topic of this thesis is the experimental investigation of evaporating thin films on planar solid substrates and the enrichment, the crystal growth and Marangoni flows near the three phase line in the case of partially wetting mixtures of volatile and non volatile liquids. In short, it deals with the properties of planar liquid films and with those of thin liquid sections near the three phase contact line. In both cases the liquid looses continuously one component by evaporation. One topic is the rupture behavior of ultra-thin films of binary mixtures of a volatile solvent and a nonvolatile solute. It is studied how the thickness at which the film ruptures is related to the solute crystallization at the liquid/ substrate interface as soon as the solute reaches supersaturation. A universal relation between the rupture thickness and the saturation behaviour is presented. The second research subject are individual nanoparticles embedded in molecularly thin films at planar substrates. It is found that the nanoparticles cause an unexpectedly large film surface distortion (meniscus). This distortion can be measured quantitatively by conventional reflective microscopy although the nanoparticles are much smaller than the Rayleigh diffraction limit. Investigations with binary mixtures of volatile solvents and non-volatile solutes (polymers) aim at a better understanding/prediction of the final solute coverage, the timeresolved film thinning, the time-resolved solvent evaporation, and the evolution of the solute concentration within the thinning film. A quantiative theoretical description of the experimental findings is derived. Experiments of completely miscible binary mixtures of volatile liquids, which individually form continuous planar films show unexpectedly that films of mixtures are not necessarily continuous and planar. Rather, they may form surface
undulations or even rupture. This is explained with surface Marangoni flows. A new method for the exceptionally fast fabrication (mm/min) of ultralong aligned diphenylalanin single crystals via dip casting is presented. It is shown how the specific evaporation conditions at the three phase line can be used for a controlled peptide crystal growth process. It is further demonstrated how the confinement inside a smalll capillary affects the peptide crystallization and how this can be understood (and used).

Modeling and data analysis of large-scale atmosphere dynamics associated with extreme weather
(2018)

In the last decades the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like heat waves and heavy rainfall have increased and are at least partly linked to global warming. These events can have a strong impact on agricultural and economic production and, thereby, on society. Thus, it is important to improve our understanding of the physical processes leading to those extreme events in order to provide accurate near-term and long-term forecasts. Thermodynamic drivers associated with global warming are well understood, but dynamical aspects of the atmosphere much less so. The dynamical aspects, while less important than the thermodynamic drivers in regards to large-scale and long-time averaged effects, play a critical role in the formation of extremes.
The overall aim of this thesis is to improve our understanding of patterns, variability and trends in the global atmospheric circulation under a changing climate. In particular, in this dissertation I developed two new data-driven methods to quantitatively describe the dynamics of jet streams, Hadley cells and storm tracks. In addition, I introduce and validate a new statistical-dynamical atmosphere model that can be used to efficiently model the large-scale circulation.
First, I developed a scheme based on the Dijkstra ‘shortest-path’ algorithm to identify jet stream cores. Using reanalysis data, I found a significant change in jet stream strength and position over the last decades: Specifically, a decrease in wind speeds and a spatial shift toward the poles. This work also shows that the splitting or merging of the polar front jet stream and the subtropical jet stream depends on the season and longitudinal position. In a follow-up study, I analyzed trends in the latitudinal position of the poleward edge of the Hadley cell and subtropical jet stream core for all longitudes. These trends depend strongly on longitude and thus the impacts of tropical expansion might be pronounced in some regions and absent in others.
The second approach was to develop an empirical forecast method for European and Mediterranean winter precipitation. This prediction algorithm innovatively incorporates the spatial patterns of predictors in autumn using clustering analyses. I identified the most important precursors (snow cover in Eurasia, Barents and Kara sea ice concentrations as well as sea surface temperature in the Atlantic and Mediterranean region) for the precipitation prediction. This forecast algorithm had higher forecast skills than conventionally employed methods such as Canonical Correlation Analysis or operational systems using climate models.
The last approach was to examine the atmospheric circulation using the novel statisticaldynamical atmosphere model Aeolus. First, I validated the model’s depiction of the largescale circulation in terms of Hadley circulation, jet streams, storm tracks and planetary waves. To do so, I performed a parameter optimization using simulated annealing. Next, I investigated the sensitivity of the large-scale circulation to three different temperature components: global mean temperature, meridional temperature gradient and zonal temperature gradient. The model experiment showed that the strength of the Hadley cell, storm tracks and jet streams depend almost linearly on both the global mean temperature and the meridional temperature gradient, whereas the zonal temperature gradient is shown to have little or no influence. The magnitude of planetary waves is clearly affected by all three temperature components. Finally, the width of the Hadley cell behaves nonlinearly with respect to all three temperature components.
These findings might have profound consequences for climate modeling of the Mediterranean region. The latitudinal poleward trend of the Hadley cell edge position might become stronger under climate change according to the results with Aeolus. These changes would lead to a substantial reduction of the winter precipitation in the Mediterranean region. In this case seasonal empirical forecast methods, like the clustering-based prediction scheme, will play an important role for forecasting seasonal droughts in advance such that water managers and politicians can mitigate impacts.

Future magnetic recording industry needs a high-density data storage technology. However, switching the magnetization of small bits requires high magnetic fields that cause excessive heat dissipation. Therefore, controlling magnetism without applying external magnetic field is an important research topic for potential applications in data storage devices with low power consumption. Among the different approaches being investigated, two of them stand out, namely i) all-optical helicity dependent switching (AO-HDS) and ii) ferroelectric control of magnetism. This thesis aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the physical processes behinds these effects as well as reporting new and exciting possibility for the optical and/or electric control of magnetic properties. Hence, the thesis contains two differentiated chapters of results; the first devoted to AO-HDS on TbFe alloys and the second to the electric field control of magnetism in an archetypal Fe/BaTiO3 system.
In the first part, the scalability of the AO-HDS to small laser spot-sizes of few microns in the ferrimagnetic TbFe alloy is investigated by spatially resolving the magnetic contrast with photo-emission electron microscopy (PEEM) and X-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD). The results show that the AO-HDS is a local effect within the laser spot size that occurs in the ring-shaped region in the vicinity of thermal demagnetization. Within the ring region, the helicity dependent switching occurs via thermally activated domain wall motion. Further, the thesis reports on a novel effect of thickness dependent inversion of the switching orientation. It addresses some of the important questions like the role of laser heating and the microscopic mechanism driving AO-HDS.
The second part of the thesis focuses on the electric field control of magnetism in an artificial multiferroic heterostructure. The sample consists of an Fe wedge with thickness varying between 0:5 nm and 3 nm, deposited on top of a ferroelectric and ferroelastic BaTiO3 [001]-oriented single crystal substrate. Here, the magnetic contrast is imaged via PEEM and XMCD as a function of out-of-plane voltage. The results show the evidence of the electric field control of superparamagnetism mediated by a ferroelastic modification of the magnetic anisotropy. The changes in the magnetoelastic anisotropy drive the transition from the superparamagnetic to superferromagnetic state at localized sample positions.

In this thesis we provide a construction of the operator framework starting from the functional formulation of group field theory (GFT). We define operator algebras on Hilbert spaces whose expectation values in specific states provide correlation functions of the functional formulation. Our construction allows us to give a direct relation between the ingredients of the functional GFT and its operator formulation in a perturbative regime. Using this construction we provide an example of GFT states that can not be formulated as states in a Fock space and lead to math- ematically inequivalent representations of the operator algebra. We show that such inequivalent representations can be grouped together by their symmetry properties and sometimes break the left translation symmetry of the GFT action. We interpret these groups of inequivalent representations as phases of GFT, similar to the classification of phases that we use in QFT’s on space-time.