Emmy Noether Research Group

Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany

Emmy Noether Research Group

Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany

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MUNICH, 09-May-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a holographic imaging process that depicts the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment. Industrial facility operators could use this to track objects as they move through the production hall. Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters. “Using this technology, we can generate a three-dimensional image of the space around the Wi-Fi transmitter, as if our eyes could see microwave radiation,” says Friedemann Reinhard, director of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Quantum Sensors at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. The researchers envision fields of deployment especially in the domain of industry 4.0 – automated industrial facilities, in which localizing parts and devices is often difficult. Processes that allow the localization of microwave radiation, even through walls, or in which changes in a signal pattern signify the presence of a person already exist. The novelty is that an entire space can be imaged via holographic processing of Wi-Fi or cell phone signals. “Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world,” says the project leader, Friedemann Reinhard. “However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available.” Hitherto, generating images from microwave radiation required special-purpose transmitters with large bandwidths. Using holographic data processing, the very small bandwidths of typical household Wi-Fi transmitters operating in the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands were sufficient for the researchers. Even Bluetooth and cell phone signals can be used. The wavelengths of these devices correspond to a spatial resolution of a few centimeters. “Instead of a using a movable antenna, which measures the image point by point, one can use a larger number of antennas to obtain a video-like image frequency,” says Philipp Holl, who executed the experiments. “Future Wi-Fi frequencies, like the proposed 60 gigahertz IEEE 802.11 standard will allow resolutions down to the millimeter range.” LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Well-known optical methods for image processing can also be deployed in Wi-Fi holography: One example is the dark-field methodology used in microscopy, which improves the recognition of weakly diffracting structures. A further process is white-light holography in which the researchers use the remaining small bandwidth of the Wi-Fi transmitter to eliminate noise from scattered radiation. The concept of treating microwave holograms like optical images allows the microwave image to be combined with camera images. The additional information extracted from the microwave images can be embedded into the camera image of a smart phone, for example to trace a radio tag attached to a lost item. But the scientists are just at the beginning of the technological development. For example, research on the transparency of specific materials is lacking. This knowledge would facilitate the development of paint or wall paper translucent to microwaves for privacy protection, while transparent materials could be deployed in factory halls to allow parts to be tracked. The researchers hope that further advancement of the technology may aid in the recovery of victims buried under an avalanche or a collapsed building. While conventional methods only allow point localization of victims, holographic signal processing could provide a spatial representation of destroyed structures, allowing first responders to navigate around heavy objects and use cavities in the rubble to systematically elucidate the easiest approach to quickly reach victims. The research was funded by the Emmy Noether Program of the German Research Foundation (DFB) and the TUM Junior Fellow Fund.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: phys.org

Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters. "Using this technology, we can generate a three-dimensional image of the space around the Wi-Fi transmitter, as if our eyes could see microwave radiation," says Friedemann Reinhard, director of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Quantum Sensors at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. The researchers envision fields of deployment especially in the domain of industry 4.0 - automated industrial facilities, in which localizing parts and devices is often difficult. Processes that allow the localization of microwave radiation, even through walls, or in which changes in a signal pattern signify the presence of a person already exist. The novelty is that an entire space can be imaged via holographic processing of Wi-Fi or cell phone signals. "Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world," says the project leader, Friedemann Reinhard. "However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available." Hitherto, generating images from microwave radiation required special-purpose transmitters with large bandwidths. Using holographic data processing, the very small bandwidths of typical household Wi-Fi transmitters operating in the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands were sufficient for the researchers. Even Bluetooth and cell phone signals can be used. The wavelengths of these devices correspond to a spatial resolution of a few centimeters. "Instead of a using a movable antenna, which measures the image point by point, one can use a larger number of antennas to obtain a video-like image frequency," says Philipp Holl, who executed the experiments. "Future Wi-Fi frequencies, like the proposed 60 gigahertz IEEE 802.11 standard will allow resolutions down to the millimeter range." Looking to the future Well-known optical methods for image processing can also be deployed in Wi-Fi holography: One example is the dark-field methodology used in microscopy, which improves the recognition of weakly diffracting structures. A further process is white-light holography in which the researchers use the remaining small bandwidth of the Wi-Fi transmitter to eliminated noise from scattered radiation. The concept of treating microwave holograms like optical images allows the microwave image to be combined with camera images. The additional information extracted from the microwave images can be embedded into the camera image of a smart phone, for example to trace a radio tag attached to a lost item. But the scientists are just at the beginning of the technological development. For example, research on the transparency of specific materials is lacking. This knowledge would facilitate the development of paint or wall paper translucent to microwaves for privacy protection, while transparent materials could be deployed in factory halls to allow parts to be tracked. The researchers hope that further advancement of the technology may aid in the recovery of victims buried under an avalanche or a collapsed building. While conventional methods only allow point localization of victims, holographic signal processing could provide a spatial representation of destroyed structures, allowing first responders to navigate around heavy objects and use cavities in the rubble to systematically elucidate the easiest approach to quickly reach victims. More information: Philipp M. Holl and Friedemann Reinhard: Holography of Wi-fi Radiation. Physical Review Letters, 05.04.2017. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.183901


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a holographic imaging process that depicts the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment. Industrial facility operators could use this to track objects as they move through the production hall. Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters. "Using this technology, we can generate a three-dimensional image of the space around the Wi-Fi transmitter, as if our eyes could see microwave radiation," says Friedemann Reinhard, director of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Quantum Sensors at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. The researchers envision fields of deployment especially in the domain of industry 4.0 - automated industrial facilities, in which localizing parts and devices is often difficult. Processes that allow the localization of microwave radiation, even through walls, or in which changes in a signal pattern signify the presence of a person already exist. The novelty is that an entire space can be imaged via holographic processing of Wi-Fi or cell phone signals. "Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world," says the project leader, Friedemann Reinhard. "However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available." Hitherto, generating images from microwave radiation required special-purpose transmitters with large bandwidths. Using holographic data processing, the very small bandwidths of typical household Wi-Fi transmitters operating in the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands were sufficient for the researchers. Even Bluetooth and cell phone signals can be used. The wavelengths of these devices correspond to a spatial resolution of a few centimeters. "Instead of a using a movable antenna, which measures the image point by point, one can use a larger number of antennas to obtain a video-like image frequency," says Philipp Holl, who executed the experiments. "Future Wi-Fi frequencies, like the proposed 60 gigahertz IEEE 802.11 standard will allow resolutions down to the millimeter range." Looking to the future Well-known optical methods for image processing can also be deployed in Wi-Fi holography: One example is the dark-field methodology used in microscopy, which improves the recognition of weakly diffracting structures. A further process is white-light holography in which the researchers use the remaining small bandwidth of the Wi-Fi transmitter to eliminated noise from scattered radiation. The concept of treating microwave holograms like optical images allows the microwave image to be combined with camera images. The additional information extracted from the microwave images can be embedded into the camera image of a smart phone, for example to trace a radio tag attached to a lost item. But the scientists are just at the beginning of the technological development. For example, research on the transparency of specific materials is lacking. This knowledge would facilitate the development of paint or wall paper translucent to microwaves for privacy protection, while transparent materials could be deployed in factory halls to allow parts to be tracked. The researchers hope that further advancement of the technology may aid in the recovery of victims buried under an avalanche or a collapsed building. While conventional methods only allow point localization of victims, holographic signal processing could provide a spatial representation of destroyed structures, allowing first responders to navigate around heavy objects and use cavities in the rubble to systematically elucidate the easiest approach to quickly reach victims.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.rdmag.com

Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed a holographic imaging process that depicts the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment. Industrial facility operators could use this to track objects as they move through the production hall. Just like peering through a window, holograms project a seemingly three-dimensional image. While optical holograms require elaborate laser technology, generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, as Dr. Friedenmann Reinhard and Philipp Holl report in the current issue of the renowned scientific journal Physical Review Letters. "Using this technology, we can generate a three-dimensional image of the space around the Wi-Fi transmitter, as if our eyes could see microwave radiation," says Friedemann Reinhard, director of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Quantum Sensors at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. The researchers envision fields of deployment especially in the domain of industry 4.0 - automated industrial facilities, in which localizing parts and devices is often difficult. Processes that allow the localization of microwave radiation, even through walls, or in which changes in a signal pattern signify the presence of a person already exist. The novelty is that an entire space can be imaged via holographic processing of Wi-Fi or cell phone signals. "Of course, this raises privacy questions. After all, to a certain degree even encrypted signals transmit an image of their surroundings to the outside world," says the project leader, Friedemann Reinhard. "However, it is rather unlikely that this process will be used for the view into foreign bedrooms in the near future. For that, you would need to go around the building with a large antenna, which would hardly go unnoticed. There are simpler ways available." Hitherto, generating images from microwave radiation required special-purpose transmitters with large bandwidths. Using holographic data processing, the very small bandwidths of typical household Wi-Fi transmitters operating in the 2.4 and 5 gigahertz bands were sufficient for the researchers. Even Bluetooth and cell phone signals can be used. The wavelengths of these devices correspond to a spatial resolution of a few centimeters. "Instead of a using a movable antenna, which measures the image point by point, one can use a larger number of antennas to obtain a video-like image frequency," says Philipp Holl, who executed the experiments. "Future Wi-Fi frequencies, like the proposed 60 gigahertz IEEE 802.11 standard will allow resolutions down to the millimeter range." Looking to the future Well-known optical methods for image processing can also be deployed in Wi-Fi holography: One example is the dark-field methodology used in microscopy, which improves the recognition of weakly diffracting structures. A further process is white-light holography in which the researchers use the remaining small bandwidth of the Wi-Fi transmitter to eliminated noise from scattered radiation. The concept of treating microwave holograms like optical images allows the microwave image to be combined with camera images. The additional information extracted from the microwave images can be embedded into the camera image of a smart phone, for example to trace a radio tag attached to a lost item. But the scientists are just at the beginning of the technological development. For example, research on the transparency of specific materials is lacking. This knowledge would facilitate the development of paint or wall paper translucent to microwaves for privacy protection, while transparent materials could be deployed in factory halls to allow parts to be tracked. The researchers hope that further advancement of the technology may aid in the recovery of victims buried under an avalanche or a collapsed building. While conventional methods only allow point localization of victims, holographic signal processing could provide a spatial representation of destroyed structures, allowing first responders to navigate around heavy objects and use cavities in the rubble to systematically elucidate the easiest approach to quickly reach victims.


News Article | May 4, 2017
Site: www.cnet.com

Soon Wi-Fi could do more than connect you to the internet. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich have developed a holographic imaging process that uses the radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter to generate three-dimensional images of the surrounding environment, down to centimeter-scale precision, according to a paper (PDF) in the Physical Review Letters announced Thursday by the university. In other words, they can effectively make holograms out of thin air. Generating holograms with the microwave radiation of a Wi-Fi transmitter requires merely one fixed and one movable antenna, which is much simpler than optical holograms that require elaborate laser technology, according to Friedemann Reinhard, co-author of the paper and director of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Quantum Sensors at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. "Using this technology, we can generate a three-dimensional image of the space around the Wi-Fi transmitter, as if our eyes could see microwave radiation," Reinhard said in a statement. Since Wi-Fi signals penetrate walls, this means going forward it can be used to locate and recover victims buried under an avalanche or a collapsed building. The development of this technology is still in an early state. but for those concerned about privacy, Reinhard said the movable antenna required to scan an entire room or a building would be very large and couldn't be installed clandestinely.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: phys.org

How massive stars form is one of the fundamental questions in modern astrophysics, because these massive stars govern the energy budget of their host galaxies. Using numerical simulations, Professor Wilhelm Kley, Dr. Rolf Kuiper and Dr. Dominique Meyer from the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Tübingen in a collaboration with Dr. Eduard Vorobyov from the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Vienna revealed new components of the formation of massive stars, which were already known from the formation process of low-mass as well as primordial stars. The study has now been published in the peer-review journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The birth of massive stars is still a mystery, because these stars are embedded in an extremely dense medium of gas and dust, says Rolf Kuiper, the leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Massive Star Formation, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). "This opaque envelope makes it difficult to directly observe the birth process even with modern telescopes. In other words, we see the cradle in which these stars are born, but we can't detect the stars themselves." Therefore, the researchers modeled the birth process within a numerical simulation. For this ambitious, computationally expensive study they made use of high-performance computers within the bwHPC initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The simulation starts with a cloud of gas and dust, which collapses under its own gravity and eventually forms a so-called accretion disk around the hot young star. The material in such a disk rotates around the central star and slowly transports gas and dust towards it. For the first time, the resolution of these simulations was sufficient to infer the formation of high-density clumps within the gravitationally unstable disk. Once formed, these clumps start to migrate through the disk and finally sink into the central star. "Like throwing logs into a fireplace, these episodes of clump consumption produce violent luminosity outbursts outshining the collective effect of one hundred thousand Suns," says Eduard Vorobyov. A similar process of episodical luminosity bursts was already known with respect to the formation of the first stars in the Universe and for low-mass stars like our Sun. The new investigation suggests now that the formation of stars of any kind and epoch are controlled by the same universal processes: "It is amazing to see these similarities, as if star formation on all scales and epochs is controlled by a common DNA forged in the early Universe," says Dominique Meyer, the first author of the study and post-doc in the Emmy Noether Group. The clumps, explains Wilhelm Kley, are also excellent candidates for the formation of Solar-type companions to massive stars: "These companions will also influence their future evolution." The results will help to develop new observing strategies for detecting these luminosity outbursts – and even for directly imaging the high-density clumps in accretion disks around very young massive stars. This will be a task for modern observing facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Explore further: 'One size fits all' when it comes to unravelling how stars form More information: D. M.-A. Meyer et al. On the existence of accretion-driven bursts in massive star formation, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw187


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The birth of massive stars is still a mystery to us, because these stars are embedded in an extremely dense medium of gas and dust, says Rolf Kuiper, the leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Massive Star Formation, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). "This opaque envelope makes it difficult to directly observe the birth process even with modern telescopes. In other words, we see the cradle in which these stars are born, but we can't detect the stars themselves." Therefore, the researchers modeled the birth process within a numerical simulation. For this ambitious, computationally expensive study they made use of high-performance computers within the bwHPC initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The simulation starts with a cloud of gas and dust, which collapses under its own gravity and eventually forms a so-called accretion disk around the hot young star. The material in such a disk rotates around the central star and slowly transports gas and dust towards it. For the first time, the resolution of these simulations was sufficient to infer the formation of high-density clumps within the gravitationally unstable disk. Once formed, these clumps start to migrate through the disk and finally sink into the central star. "Like throwing logs into a fireplace, these episodes of clump consumption produce violent luminosity outbursts outshining the collective effect of one hundred thousand Suns", says Eduard Vorobyov. A similar process of episodical luminosity bursts was already known with respect to the formation of the first stars in the Universe and for low-mass stars like our Sun. The new investigation suggests now that the formation of stars of any kind and epoch are controlled by the same universal processes: "It is amazing to see these similarities, as if star formation on all scales and epochs is controlled by a common DNA forged in the early Universe", says Dominique Meyer, the first author of the study and post-doc in the Emmy Noether Group. The clumps, explains Wilhelm Kley, are also excellent candidates for the formation of Solar-type companions to massive stars: "These companions will also influence their future evolution." The results will help to develop new observing strategies for detecting these luminosity outbursts - and even for directly imaging the high-density clumps in accretion disks around very young massive stars. This will be a task for modern observing facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Publication in "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society" D. M.-A. Meyer, E. I. Vorobyov, R. Kuiper and W. Kley: On the existence of accretion-driven bursts in massive star formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw187


News Article | November 8, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

"How do massive stars form?" is one of the fundamental questions in modern astrophysics, because these massive stars govern the energy budget of their host galaxies. Using numerical simulations, Professor Wilhelm Kley, Dr. Rolf Kuiper and Dr. Dominique Meyer from the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Tübingen in a collaboration with Dr. Eduard Vorobyov from the Institute for Astrophysics at the University of Vienna revealed new components of the formation of massive stars, which were already known from the formation process of low-mass as well as primordial stars. The study has now been published in the peer-review journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The birth of massive stars is still a mystery to us, because these stars are embedded in an extremely dense medium of gas and dust, says Rolf Kuiper, the leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Massive Star Formation, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). "This opaque envelope makes it difficult to directly observe the birth process even with modern telescopes. In other words, we see the cradle in which these stars are born, but we can't detect the stars themselves." Therefore, the researchers modeled the birth process within a numerical simulation. For this ambitious, computationally expensive study they made use of high-performance computers within the bwHPC initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The simulation starts with a cloud of gas and dust, which collapses under its own gravity and eventually forms a so-called accretion disk around the hot young star. The material in such a disk rotates around the central star and slowly transports gas and dust towards it. For the first time, the resolution of these simulations was sufficient to infer the formation of high-density clumps within the gravitationally unstable disk. Once formed, these clumps start to migrate through the disk and finally sink into the central star. "Like throwing logs into a fireplace, these episodes of clump consumption produce violent luminosity outbursts outshining the collective effect of one hundred thousand Suns," says Eduard Vorobyov. A similar process of episodical luminosity bursts was already known with respect to the formation of the first stars in the Universe and for low-mass stars like our Sun. The new investigation suggests now that the formation of stars of any kind and epoch are controlled by the same universal processes: "It is amazing to see these similarities, as if star formation on all scales and epochs is controlled by a common DNA forged in the early Universe," says Dominique Meyer, the first author of the study and post-doc in the Emmy Noether Group. The clumps, explains Wilhelm Kley, are also excellent candidates for the formation of Solar-type companions to massive stars: "These companions will also influence their future evolution." The results will help to develop new observing strategies for detecting these luminosity outbursts -- and even for directly imaging the high-density clumps in accretion disks around very young massive stars. This will be a task for modern observing facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).


News Article | November 9, 2016
Site: spaceref.com

The birth of massive stars is still a mystery to us. This is because these stars are embedded in an extremely dense medium of gas and dust, says Rolf Kuiper, the leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Massive Star Formation, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). "This opaque envelope makes it difficult to directly observe the birth process even with modern telescopes. In other words, we see the cradle in which these stars are born, but we can't detect the stars themselves." Therefore, the researchers modeled the birth process within a numerical simulation. For this ambitious, computationally expensive study they made use of high-performance computers within the bwHPC initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The simulation starts with a cloud of gas and dust, which collapses under its own gravity and eventually forms a so-called accretion disk around the hot young star. The material in such a disk rotates around the central star and slowly transports gas and dust towards it. For the first time, the resolution of these simulations was sufficient to infer the formation of high-density clumps within the gravitationally unstable disk. Once formed, these clumps start to migrate through the disk and finally sink into the central star. "Like throwing logs into a fireplace, these episodes of clump consumption produce violent luminosity outbursts outshining the collective effect of one hundred thousand Suns", says Eduard Vorobyov. A similar process of episodical luminosity bursts was already known with respect to the formation of the first stars in the Universe and for low-mass stars like our Sun. The new investigation suggests now that the formation of stars of any kind and epoch are controlled by the same universal processes: "It is amazing to see these similarities, as if star formation on all scales and epochs is controlled by a common DNA forged in the early Universe", says Dominique Meyer, the first author of the study and post-doc in the Emmy Noether Group. The clumps, explains Wilhelm Kley, are also excellent candidates for the formation of Solar-type companions to massive stars: "These companions will also influence their future evolution." The results will help to develop new observing strategies for detecting these luminosity outbursts - and even for directly imaging the high-density clumps in accretion disks around very young massive stars. This will be a task for modern observing facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Publication in "Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society" D. M.-A. Meyer, E. I. Vorobyov, R. Kuiper and W. Kley: On the existence of accretion-driven bursts in massive star formation. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw187 Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


News Article | November 7, 2016
Site: www.rdmag.com

The birth of massive stars is still a mystery to us, because these stars are embedded in an extremely dense medium of gas and dust, says Rolf Kuiper, the leader of the Emmy Noether Research Group for Massive Star Formation, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). "This opaque envelope makes it difficult to directly observe the birth process even with modern telescopes. In other words, we see the cradle in which these stars are born, but we can't detect the stars themselves." Therefore, the researchers modeled the birth process within a numerical simulation. For this ambitious, computationally expensive study they made use of high-performance computers within the bwHPC initiative of the state of Baden-Württemberg. The simulation starts with a cloud of gas and dust, which collapses under its own gravity and eventually forms a so-called accretion disk around the hot young star. The material in such a disk rotates around the central star and slowly transports gas and dust towards it. For the first time, the resolution of these simulations was sufficient to infer the formation of high-density clumps within the gravitationally unstable disk. Once formed, these clumps start to migrate through the disk and finally sink into the central star. "Like throwing logs into a fireplace, these episodes of clump consumption produce violent luminosity outbursts outshining the collective effect of one hundred thousand Suns", says Eduard Vorobyov. A similar process of episodical luminosity bursts was already known with respect to the formation of the first stars in the Universe and for low-mass stars like our Sun. The new investigation suggests now that the formation of stars of any kind and epoch are controlled by the same universal processes: "It is amazing to see these similarities, as if star formation on all scales and epochs is controlled by a common DNA forged in the early Universe", says Dominique Meyer, the first author of the study and post-doc in the Emmy Noether Group. The clumps, explains Wilhelm Kley, are also excellent candidates for the formation of Solar-type companions to massive stars: "These companions will also influence their future evolution." The results will help to develop new observing strategies for detecting these luminosity outbursts - and even for directly imaging the high-density clumps in accretion disks around very young massive stars. This will be a task for modern observing facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) or the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

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