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The IMPRS for Many Particle Systems in Structured Environments (MPSSE) is one of about sixty International Max Planck Research Schools in Germany which provide outstanding research environments for PhD students across the sciences. IMPRS MPSSE is hosted by the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden and has several affiliate institutions in Dresden and in neighbouring Prague and Wroclaw.

MPI-PKS has been the centre of a graduate research school for the last twelve years and MPSSE is the latest incarnation which runs from the beginning of January 2017 until December 2022. The changing nature of the IMPRS theme reflects the ever evolving scientific landscape and ensures that students at the school receive exposure to some of the central contemporary topics in condensed matter physics, atomic, molecular and laser physics and physical chemistry.

The focus of the IMPRS MPSSE is coherent many-body quantum dynamics. The last decade has seen remarkable progress in the field of cold atoms which has resulted in a blurring of the distinction between condensed matter on the one hand and atomic and laser physics on the other. The rise of this topic brings with it a fresh set of fundamental questions for experimental and theoretical study related the nature of quantum phases under periodic driving, the effects of disorder and strong interactions on states of matter and the collective behaviour of Rydberg atoms. These developments also have important ramifications for traditional solid state physics especially in the realm of quantum computation and experiments on free electron lasers and in nanostructured materials. A brief guide to the research interests of our faculty members may be found here and links to their home pages here. Each faculty member typically offers PhD projects at each application call.


Our research school currently has roughly sixty students of whom about half are based at the host institute and the rest at one of our partner institutes in Dresden, in Wroclaw or in Prague. Our students are brought together by monthly seminars, and by workshops, schools and an annual retreat. Further training is provided through lecture courses at the local institutions supplemented by lectures from our own faculty members.

For prospective students we have two application deadlines each year: one at the end of April and the other at the end of September. More information about the application procedure can be found here.