Press release 02/24 - 09.01.2024

Augsburg mathematician receives international honour

Prof. Dr Malte Peter appointed life member of Clare Hall

Prof. Dr Malte Peter, professor of applied analysis at the University of Augsburg, has been named a life member of Clare Hall, one of 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge.

© University of Augsburg

Peter conducts research in applied mathematics at the interface of physics and materials science at the University of Augsburg. He was named a life member of Cambridge’s Clare Hall at the last governing body meeting. This follows numerous research trips and a six month stay as a visiting fellow. Peter spent the first half of 2023 at Cambridge conducting research and organising a research programme on mathematical theory and applications of multiple wave scattering at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences. As part of the programme, he and four other colleagues from the UK and Australia were able to invite over 100 academics from all around the world to Cambridge for long-term stays in order to conduct research on wave scattering phenomena collaboratively.

From ocean motion to medical technology, the effects of multiple wave scattering on our lives are ubiquitous. We live in a world with sound waves, electromagnetic waves (e.g., light and radio waves), vibration waves, as well as many other types of waves. When many waves hit several objects, it is scattered in various directions. When many waves hit an object, the scattering pattern becomes very complex. Known mathematical methods for understanding and predicting this are no longer sufficient and therefore need to be developed further. Peter is primarily concerned with the scattering of waves in the ocean: “My research is on multiple wave scattering, particularly in connection with climate models as well as ocean-wave-energy conversion. Here, the interaction of waves with objects is used to focus wave energy. The easiest way to explain this is using metamaterials, which are artificially manufactured materials in which the structure of the materials uses multiple wave scattering in order to achieve desired (often unexpected) scattering effects. The idea is that such metamaterials can cleverly redirect the waves. As an example, imagine an invisibility cloak that deflects light waves so that both the cloak and the person underneith it remain invisible to an observer,” explains Peter, describing his research.

The University of Cambridge and its colleges, which operate very independently but nevertheless under the umbrella of the university, are world-renowned for their academic excellence. Admission to life membership at Clare Hall enables Peter to have direct involvement in this system and conduct regular research stays at Cambridge.

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Applied Analysis