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.


Armita Nourmohammad receives Early Career Award for Biological Physics

November 24, 2021
Armita Nourmohammad, Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) and Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Washington received the Early Career Award from the American Physical Society (APS), Division of Biological Physics. The annual award recognizes outstanding and sustained contributions by an early-career researcher to biological physics. In choosing Armita Nourmohammad as the laureate, the committee honors her valuable contributions at the interface of statistical physics and biology.

Lower Saxony Science Award for Viola Priesemann

November 17, 2021
On November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Science and Culture of Lower Saxony awarded the researcher of the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) in Göttingen the prestigious Lower Saxony Science Award in the category "Scientist in an early career phase". With this award, the state of Lower Saxony annually honors scientists, who distinguish themselves through particular professional excellence as well as through their commitment. The jury of the Scientific Commission of Lower Saxony was deeply impressed by the professional achievements of Viola Priesemann in the field of theoretical neuroscience, as well as by the flexibility to adapt her research activities to the Covid 19 pandemic at short notice.

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)

A complex fluid consists of (a large number of) similar mobile entities which are complex enough by themselves to preclude a straightforward prediction of the collective behaviour of the whole. Our research aims at understanding emergent phenomena in complex fluids, in particular in active fluids. We hope to identify suitable model systems which yield insight into overarching principles of self-organization in systems as diverse as granular flows, swarming of plankton particles, or patterns in traffic flow. One challenging question is: are there general common ‘principles’ behind the various instances of symmetry breaking, structure formation, and emergence in open systems? How does nature proceed from ‘being’ to ‘becoming’?

Living Matter Physics
(Prof. Dr. Ramin Golestanian)

Since March 2018, Prof. Ramin Golestanian from Oxford University is a new director heading the department ‘Living Matter Physics’. The department 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. 

Max Planck Research Groups

Dr. Viola Priesemann

Prof. Dr. Stefan Luther

Dr. Armita Nourmohammad
Dr. David Zwicker

In a nutshell


LMP Seminar: Honeybee flight dynamics in windy conditions

Dr. Bardia Hejazi
07.12.2021 14:00 - 15:30
Max-Planck-Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation (MPIDS), Room: Video conference at www.zoom.us Meeting ID: 997 1155 2453 Passcode: 771001
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