Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization

What we want
No matter how well we understand how a single droplet of water is formed in the laboratory, we cannot predict how countless droplets form clouds that substantially affect the Earth’s climate. And although we can accurately characterize a single neuron’s impulse, we do not yet understand how billions of them form a single thought. In such systems, animate or inanimate, processes of self-organization are at work: Many interacting parts organize themselves independently, without external control, into a complex whole. At our institute we explore the mechanisms underlying these processes in order to gain a detailed understanding of complex systems. Also the major challenges of the 21st century, from climate change and economic crises to problems in energy supply and transport, are closely linked to these scientific questions. Without a deep understanding of dynamics and self-organization in complex and highly networked systems we cannot face these challenges. With our basic research not only do we want to deepen our understanding of nature, but also want to contribute to a sustainable existence on this planet.


Honeycombs in the desert

Honeycombs in the desert

March 01, 2023
Convection of salty water creates hexagonal patterns
Max Planck goes to school once again in 2023

Max Planck goes to school once again in 2023

January 24, 2023
For the fourth time, scientists from the four Max Planck Institutes in Göttingen will visit secondary schools in the city on January 26. There, they report on their daily work and provide unique insights into current research topics. (in German)

Research Departments

Fluid Physics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eberhard Bodenschatz

We are investigating the dynamics of a variety of complex nonlinear systems both experimentally and theoretically. Our interests are currently focused on biocomplexity in cell-biology, Lagrangian properties of fully developed turbulence, pattern formation and spatio-temporal chaos, and the Geodynamics of the earth's crust.

Dynamics of complex Fluids

Prof. Dr. Stephan Herminghaus

Complex fluids include emulsions, granulates, and also active fluids such as plankton swarms, biological fluids, or even flowing road traffic. Our research aims to understand the principles of self-organization in these systems, such as collective phenomena and pattern formation.

Living Matter Physics

Prof. Dr. Ramin Golestanian

The department of Living Matter Physics is engaged in a wide range of theoretical research aimed at a multi-scale understanding of the dynamics of living systems from a physical perspective. The aim is to understand the complex dynamics of living matter well enough to be able to make it from the bottom-up; i.e. from molecules to systems.

Max Planck Research Groups

Prof. Dr. Stefan Luther

Complex SystemsTheory
Prof. Dr. Viola Priesemann

Theory of BiologicalFluids
Dr. David Zwicker

In a nutshell


MPI-DS Seminar: Enhanced DNA repair through droplet formation and p53 oscillations

Dr. Mathias Spliid Heltberg
26.04.2023 11:00 - 12:00
Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation (MPIDS), Room: SR 0.79

MPI-DS Colloquium: BioInspired Self-Organization to Build the Materials of Tomorrow

Jennifer Ross
26.04.2023 14:15 - 15:15
Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation (MPIDS), Room: Prandtl Lecture Hall

Summer School: Infodemics Pandemics

26.08.2023 00:00 - 03.09.2023 23:00
Anderer Ort / Other Location, Room: University of Lübeck
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