Prof. em. Dr. Hans Jürgen Herrmann

Prof. em. Dr.  Hans Jürgen Herrmann

Prof. em. Dr. Hans Jürgen Herrmann

Institut für Baustoffe (IfB)

HIF E 14.1

Laura-Hezner-Weg 7

8093 Zürich


  • +41 44 633 07 36
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Personal Interests

Cracking stones and throwing sand are my favorite but I do that peacefully either on the computer or a sheet of paper.

Presently I am working mainly on dunes and Apollonian packings.

I am also investigating density waves, fragmentation, stratification, segregation, compactification, sedimentation, dissipative gases, the shape of a sand pile, the dip under the heap, non-linear elasticity of packings and shear bands which I also studied micromechanically.

Among others I have been working with Lucilla de Arcangelis on SOC on small world lattices and the brain, with Falk Wittel and Norbert Stoop on folding of wire, with external pageFerenc Kun and Raul Cruz on fibres, with Jose Soares on complex networks and on porous media and with Jason Gallas on cellular automata.

In the past I have worked on percolation, kinetic gelation, cluster-cluster aggregation, traffic, mineral dendrites, superplasticity and the Potts model and have written reviews on cellular automata, fracture, growth phenomena and geometrical critical phenomena.

Also I am managing editor of external pageInternational J. of Modern Physics C and of external pageGranular Matter, in the editorial board of several journals and have edited several books.

You are welcome to browse through my list of publications, have a glimpse into my life or maybe you want to hear rap made by my students.

Here also a clip from German TV as member of a jury in a pupils contest and a external pagereport from a school.

New Webpage

Please check out my new homepage at PMMH, ESPCI, France:

external page

Additional information

Curriculum Vitae - PDF

Hans Jürgen Herrmann is theoretical physicist and Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Building Materials.

Born on January 1st, 1954 in La Habana, Cuba, and raised in Bogotá, he studied physics in Göttingen and Cologne where he made his PhD in 1981. After spending one year as post-doc in the USA he became collaborator at the Service de Physique Théorique in Saclay. He became member of section 02 of the CNRS and is today Directeur de Recherche 1ère Cl. en mise à disponibilité. In 1990 he was head of the many-body group at HLRZ of KFA Jülich for four years. Then he was director of the PMMH of ESPCI, Paris for six years, where he also filled a chair. In 1996, he was named full professor and director of the Institute of Computer Physics at the University of Stuttgart. He is a Guggenheim Fellow (1986), member of the Brazilian Academy of Science, Max-Planck prize recipient (2002) and won the Gentner-Kastler prize (2005), is a APS Fellow (2007), received an IBM Faculty Award (2009), received an ERC Advanced Grant (2012), is a member of the Colombian Academy of Science (2012) and he received the Aneesur Rahman prize 2018. He is managing editor of International Journal of Modern Physics C and of Granular Matter and member of several editorial boards and committees including the Forschungskommission of ETH. He has co-authored over 700 publications and co-edited 13 books.

His education is based on theoretical solid state physics (master) and statistical physics of critical phenomena (PhD). After his PhD he worked among others on gelation and irreversible growth and built a special purpose computer to calculate the conductivity of percolation clusters. He has studied the fracture of heterogeneous materials since 1986 and since 1992, he has investigated the properties of granular media. Highlights in this research were the construction of space-filling bearings and the establishment of the equations of motion of dunes. His present research subjects include dense colloids, the formation of river deltas, quicksand, the failure of fibrous and polymeric composites and complex networks.

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