Forschung Aktuell
 Science Service

TU Berlin Science Service of the TU Berlin


Nr. 1 / September 2000

This science service is provided in cooperation with scientists of the Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, and appears four times a year. It offers insights into the research activities at our university. Further information can be obtained from the contacts named in each report. The reports are available for publication free of charge on provision of a copy of the publication.

(A copy of each report can be downloaded as .rtf-file. You will find the corresponding link at the bottom of each individual report.)

Voice research
The smile that you can hear

Listeners can register the emotional state of the person who is speaking. However, it is not clear which acoustic features express fear, happiness or sadness. Scientists at the TU Berlin have now analysed these features and incorporated them in a computer-generated artificial voice.

Passenger safety
Improved safety with energy-absorbent couplings

A new interior design for rail vehicles is intended to improve the safety of passengers. And new materials also offer improved crash protection. Scientists at the TU Berlin have developed an energy-absorbent plastic which can be injected into the coupling between rail-cars. This is more efficient in absorbing energy than the shock absorbers of a motor vehicle.

Music sociology
Social inequality lives on - in the concert halls

The traditional form of social inequality still continues to exist - particularly when it comes to attending cultural events. That is the conclusion drawn from a survey of 6500 visitors to concerts in Berlin conducted by music scientists of the Technical University (TU) Berlin. For the first time they were able to map musical preferences and to describe the social features of each area.

Technology for senior citizens
Sensors to report falls in the home

Safety in the home is of crucial importance for the elderly. Scientists at the TU Berlin have developed a special personal alarm sensor which registers falls and automatically sends an alarm signal. This is to be integrated in a wrist-watch or ring and is expected to reach the markets in two years time.

Simulating the Jupiter phenomenon

The spectacular impacts of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet in the atmosphere of Jupiter in 1994 fascinated scientists and the general public alike. Researchers at the Technical University (TU) Berlin have now simulated the physical and chemical effects on the ringed planet in the laboratory and can use this to draw conclusions about its atmosphere.

Landscape development
Indian satellites show forest damage in Saxony

Data from an Indian satellite has provided scientists of the TU Berlin with evidence of growing damage to forests in Saxony. The high- resolution images are being used to determine the exact degree of damage, and will provide documentation for later comparisons.