Research at the German Aerospace Center´s Institute of Materials Physics in Space explores fundamental mechanisms underlying liquid properties and solidification processes. In the absence of gravitationally driven phenomena such as convection and sedimentation, invertigations in weightlessness provide well-defined experimential conditions needed for accurate measurements.
The experiments under microgravity provide reference data to benchmark simulation and theory, as well as to parametrizie and further develope earth-bound experiments. Embedded in a closely associated strong ground-based program including simulation, theory and experiments, the institute´s research in space comprises key experiments in material physics. This forms the basis for a quantitative description of solidification processes and for computer-assisted materials design from the melt.