Studies and PhD:

From 1998 until 2005 I studied physics at the University of Freiburg. This period included an erasmus stay at the Imperial College in London from summer 1999 to Summer 2000. From this stay results publication # 9.
In 2005 I finished my diploma with a diploma-thesis entitled: 'NMR as a method to study the crystallization of polymers' in the group of Prof. Strobl in the field of polymer physics. Parts of this work can be found in'The Physics of Polymers. Concepts for Understanding their Structures and Behavior by Prof. Strobl.
From june 2005 until october 2008 I did my PhD with Professor C. Bechinger at the university of Stuttgart. The topic was "Measuring critical Casimir forces with TIRM" . As technique we use TIRM (TIRM = Total Internal Reflection Micrscopy), a highly sensitive technique to measure colloid wall interactions with up to femntonewton resolution. Amongst other interactions we only recently managed to measure critical casimir forces between a colloidal particle and a substrate in a binary liquid mixture.
In the following you can find a list of my publications, talks and press reviews on publications.


  1. Critical Casimir effect in classical binary liquid mixtures

    A. Gambassi, A. Maciolek, C. Hertlein, U. Nellen, L. Helden, C. Bechinger, S. Dietrich
    Phys. Rev. E, in press (2009)

  2. The critical Casimir effect: Universal fluctuation-induced forces at work

    A. Gambassi, C. Hertlein, L. Helden, S. Dietrich, C. Bechinger
    Europhysics news, 40-1, 18 (2009)

  3. Critical Casimir Forces in Colloidal Suspensions on Chemically Patterned Surfaces

    Florian Soyka, Olga Zvyagolskaya, Christopher Hertlein, Laurent Helden, Clemens Bechinger
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 208301 (2008)

  4. Direct measurement of critical Casimir forces

    C. Hertlein, L. Helden, A. Gambassi, S. Dietrich & C. Bechinger
    Nature 451, 172-175 (10 January 2008)

  5. Experimental verification of an exact evanescent light scattering model for TIRM

    Christopher Hertlein, Norbert Riefler, Elena Eremina, Thomas Wriedt, Yuri Eremin, Laurent Helden, Clemens Bechinger
    Langmuir, 24 (1), 1 -4, 2008

  6. Comparison of T-matrix method with discrete sources method applied for total internal reflection microscopy
    Norbert Riefler, Elena Eremina, Christopher Hertlein, Laurent Helden, Yuri Eremin, Thomas Wriedt, Clemens Bechinger
    Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy & Radiative Transfer 106, 464-474 (2007)

  7. Single particle evanescent light scattering simulations for total internal reflection microscopy

    L. Helden, E. Eremina, N. Riefler, C. Hertlein, C. Bechinger, Y. Eremin, T. Wriedt
    Applied Optics 45, 28, 7299-7308 (2006)

  8. Low-field NMR studies of polymer crystallization kinetics:changes in the melt dynamics
    C. Hertlein, K.Saalwächter and G. Strobl
    Polymer 47, 20, 7216-7221 (2006)

  9. A Robust Proton NMR Method to Investigate Hard/Soft Ratios, Crystallinity, and Component Mobility in Polymers.
    A. Maus, C. Hertlein, K. Saalwächter.
    Macromol. Chem. Phys. 207, 1150–1158 (2006).

  10. A complexity view of rainfall
    O.Peters, C.Hertlein, K.Christensen
    Phys.Rev. Lett. 88, 018701 (2001)


  1. Critical Casimir Forces in Colloidal Suspensions
    7th Liquid Matter Conference
    Lund, Sweden (6/2008)

  2. Critical Casimir Forces in Colloidal Suspensions
    Soft Matter, Biomaterials and Interfaces Seminar Series,
    Oxford, UK (5/2008)

  3. Critical Casimir Forces in colloidal suspensions ,
    Max Planck Institut f�r Dynamik und Selbstorganisation, G�ttingen (5/2008)

  4. Direct measurement of the critical casimir force using Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRM),
    DPG Meeting, Berlin (2008)

  5. Measuring tiny forces with TIRM - critical Casimir forces -,
    Doktoratskolleg Chemie, University of Graz, Austria (2008)

  6. Direct measurement of critical casimir forces using TIRM,
    DPG Meeting, Regensburg (2007)

  7. Direct measurement of critical casimir forces using Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRM),
    Ringberg Meeting, MPI Stuttgart, Prof. S. Dietrich (2007)

  8. Using NMR in studies of the kinetics of polymer crystallisation
    Talk COST P12 Conference, Neapel (2004)

Press review on publications:

  1. Journal Club for Condensed Matter Physics (Mehran Kardar):
    Casimir Forces near Critical Points of Phase Transitions

  2. Baden Wrttemberg Woche bwWoche (19.05.2008):
    Grenze �berwunden

  3. 3Sat (TV, 09.04.2008):
    Short contribution in 'Die k�rnige Welt',

  4. Nature News and views:
    Physics: The force of fluctuations
    by Sébastien Balibar

  5. Physik Journal 7(2008) Nr. 3:
    Die Kraft kritischer Fluktuationen
    by Klaus Mecke

  6. Physicsworld:
    Casimir effect goes classical

  7. ORF on science:
    Pannenhilfe für Nanomaschinen

  8. Stuttgarter Zeitung 11.01.2008:
    Die Kraft aus dem Nichts

  9. Deutsche Welle World (in spanish):
    El universo nanometrico

  10. Inforadio RBB (Radio Berlin Brandenburg):
    Nanomaschinen und Casimirkraft (22.01.2008)


  11. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (30.01.2008):
    Spielball einer seltsamen Kraft

  12. Cern Courier (15.02.2008):
    A new take on the Casimir effect?

  13. Futura sciences (in french) (11.01.2008):
    L'effet Casimir existe aussi en physique classique !

  14. Deutschlandfunk "Forschung Aktuell":
    Attraktiv oder abstoend (4.2.2008)

    (Autor Ralf Krauter) (mp3)

  15. Royal Society of Chemistry (Philip Ball):
    Column: The crucible

  16. New Scientist (4.5.2002) on paper #7 :
    Rain is earthquake in the sky