Hidden order among disorder


Microstructure with a complete photonic band gap
Figure: Microstructure with a complete photonic band gap; Source: DLR, Dr Michael A. Klatt
The complex network shows the first foam-based heterostructure with a complete photonic band gap.

The Helmholtz Young Investigator Group DataMat wants to turn fundamental insights about new states of matter into materials with properties that were thought to be impossible before.
The group pursues a “hidden” order amongst disorder, that is, systems that seem to be random but that are homogeneous like crystals at large distances. Such systems look the same in every direction like a liquid; globally, however, they suppress density fluctuations like a crystal. Such a “new state of matter” endows materials with unique properties, like an isotropic loss-less transport of waves.
The project DataMat now wants to combine such fundamental insights into novel types of order and disorder with the possibilities opened-up by the recent progress in machine learning. Prerequisites, however, are safe and reliable predictions and an uncertainty quantification that allows for a statistical analysis of highly-correlated, large-scale spatial structures. Moreover, such a “hidden order” puts fundamental limitations of machine learning to the test.

Contribution Institute for AI Safety and Security

The Helmholtz Young Investigators Group is a joint project of two DLR institutes, the Institute of AI Safety and Security and the Institute of Materials Physics in Space. Its partner university is the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, and the group also closely collaborates with Princeton University (USA).


Dr. Michael A. Klatt

Helmholtz Young Investigator Group Leader
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute for AI Safety and Security
Execution Environments & Innovative Computing Methods
Wilhelm-Runge-Straße 10, 89081 Ulm

Karoline Bischof

Consultant Public Relations
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute for AI Safety and Security
Business Development and Strategy
Rathausallee 12, 53757 Sankt Augustin