The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) is engaged in a variety of dynamical and in particular self-organizational phenomena: from vortices in turbulent flows, neural networks in the brain, to granular matter and complex fluids. Although these systems can be assigned to different disciplines, they often follow similar laws and can thus be studied and described using similar methods. Among about 200 employees of the institute, there are physicists, chemists, geologists, computer scientists and mathematicians, in close collaboration.
The institute has been founded in 1925 as the Kaiser-Wilhelm Institute for Flow Research and belongs to the oldest and most traditional institutes of the Max Planck Society. The founding director Ludwig Prandtl dominantly influenced the early decades and established the institute as a leading one for experimental and theoretical flow research.
Still today most of its researchers are concerned with flow research, but typically look at it in a larger context of dynamical and in particular self-organizational phenomena. The renaming of the institute to Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization has been a consequence of this reorientation.