# Mathematics and physics come closer: Collaborative Research Centre “Space - Time - Matter” approved

Just in time for the “Einstein Year 2005”, the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) “Space-Time Matter” has now been approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG) - initially for four years, and for up to 12 years if the evaluation is positive. A total of 16 doctoral or postdoctoral positions will be funded by the DFG's grants.

## Background

The name of the SFB goes back to the book “Raum - Zeit - Materie” published by Hermann Weyl in 1918. With this book he presented a comprehensive and coherent description of Einstein's general theory of relativity, in which he included the physical, mathematical and philosophical foundations as well as the conclusions that emerged from them in his time. Weyl was aware that science and philosophy had entered a completely new phase, for which the complicated interplay of space, time and matter was to serve as his signature.

Even today, 86 years after Weyl's publication, numerous questions about space, time and matter remain unsolved. For example, a unified theory that brings quantum theory (the world in miniature) and general relativity (the world in very large scales) under one roof is still pending. A promising candidate for such a world formula is string theory. It is one of the main areas of research at the Albert Einstein Institute.

In this context, the development of new complex and subtle mathematical tools is of the greatest interest to physics - an intensive exchange between mathematicians and physicists is therefore in the interest of both sides, for example to make further progress in the search for a unified theory.