About the Institute

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) focuses on basic research into all aspects of the interaction between light and matter, from modern optics to photonics, quantum effects and their applications in the "real" world. It aims to extend the realm of the possible in the science and technology of light. MPL was founded in 2009 and is one of the more than 80 institutes that make up the Max Planck Society, whose mission is to conduct basic research in the service of the general public in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

A bit of history

Optics in Erlangen has a long tradition both in the Natural Sciences and in engineering. Already in 1868 the University of Erlangen appointed Eugen Lommel to a professorship, a scientist focusing on optics research. In the 1970s this tradition was perpetuated with the formation of the chair of optics under Prof. Adolf Lohmann. Laser research and its applications also gained increasing importance in the Engineering Faculty.

Based on this experience the Max Planck Research Group for Optics, Information and Photonics was established from 2003 to 2008. It was operated by the Friedrich-Alexander-University and co-financed by the Max Planck Society and the Free State of Bavaria. After a successful evaluation, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light was founded on 1 January 2009.

After three years of construction, the new building in the Staudtstraße, close to the southern campus of the Friedrich Alexander University (FAU), was inaugurated in October 2016.

MPL Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with MPL’s latest research via our Newsletter. 

Current issue: Newsletter No 16 - February 2021

Click here to view previous issues.

MPL Research Centers and Schools