Search form

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Meyer-Ortmanns
Prof. Dr. Hildegard Meyer-Ortmanns
Prof. Dr.
Professor of Physics
Physics & Earth Sciences

Room 64, Research III
Campus Ring 8
28759 Bremen Germany

+49 421 200-3102
h.ortmanns [at]
Research III, Room 64
Research Interests: 

Statistical Physics Out-of-Equilibrium and Nonlinear Dynamics:

  • The Impact of Stochastic Fluctuations
  • The Role of Frustration in Dynamical Systems
  • Trade-offs between Cost, Precision and Speed
  • Evolutionary Game Theory and Multi-Scale Dynamics
  • Resilient Design of Power Grids


University Education: 

1993   Habilitation and Venia Legendi in Physics at the University of Heidelberg
1983   Dissertation (Dr. rer. nat.) in Physics at the University of Hamburg
1979   Diploma in Physics at the University of Cologne


Research and Teaching Positions: 

Since 2002 at Jacobs University
 Courses for Undergraduate Students

Advanced Physics A1 (Classical Mechanics and Special Relativity)
Advanced Physics B1 (Quantum Mechanics)
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
Advanced Physics B2 (Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics)
Experimental and Theoretical Physics 1A (Applied Quantum and Statistical Physics)
Engineering and Science Mathematics (ESM)
ESM2A (Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics)
ESM3B (Complex Functions, Differential Equations)
ESM4B (Functional Analysis, Probability, Group Theory)
General Environmental Science I (Module on Physics)
Reductionism in Physics and its Relation to Philosophy

 Specialization Courses

Application of Statistical Physics I and II
Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena
Dynamical Processes on Complex Networks
Frontiers of Theoretical Physics
Problem Solving in Physics

 Literature Seminars on Current Topics of Research
 University Study Courses

From Genes to the Internet: Complex Networks in Engineering and Science
Networks in Social and Natural Sciences

 Triangle Course

Fundamentals of Complex Systems

 Guided Research Projects on various topics of ongoing research
 Supervision of bachelor and PhD students

Teaching at the Universities of Heidelberg and Wuppertal between 1993-2001  
     Courses at the graduate level

Gauge Theories in the Continuum and on the Lattice
Quantum Mechanics in the Path Integral Formulation
Quantum Field Theory in the Path Integral Formulation
Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena with Applications to Particle Physics
Geometrical Concepts in Gauge Theories
Quantum Field Theory and Statistical Physics
The Phase Structure of Particle Physics

Courses at the undergraduate level

Introduction to Mathematical Concepts
Mathematical Methods for Physicists I and II



Organization of Workshops, Summer Schools and Conferences

2018:  International Conference on Biological Aging from the Perspective of Physics, Information Science and Life Sciences, July 16-20 at Jacobs University (with J. Garcia-Ojalvo), supported by the German Research Foundation, DFG

2016:  CoNDyNet Summer School on Stability of Electricity Grids, June 22-26, at Jacobs University (with S. Kettemann and G. Brunekreeft)

2015: Joint Focus Session of Sections DY and BP at the DPG-Meeting on Aging in Physical and Biological Systems, March 20, Berlin (organized with J. Krug)

2014: Heraeus Seminar on The Versatile Action of Noise: From Genetic to Neural Circuits, June 22-27, at Jacobs University (with A. Bernacchia)

2012: Heraeus-Seminar on Ecological Networks and Smart Energy Grids, June 18-22, Jacobs University

2011: Satellite Workshop to the European Conference on Complex Systems in Vienna on Frontiers in the Theory of Evolution, September 14-15

2010: Heraeus-Workshop on Biomedical Modeling and Visualization: Hierarchical Materials and Multiscale Modeling, August 12-20, at Jacobs University (with H.Hahn, M.Huett, L.Linsen and T Preusser)

2009: Heraeus-Summer School on Steps in Evolution: Perspectives from Biochemistry and Cell Biology 150 Years after Darwin, June 28-July 5, at Jacobs University

2008: Workshop on Transport Processes in Physics and Biology, May 26-28, at Jacobs University

2007: Heraeus-Summer School on Interfaces between Physics and Computer Science: June 11-22, at Jacobs University

2007: Heraeus-Summer School on Statistical Physics of Gene Regulation: From Networks to Expression Data and Back, July 16-28, at Jacobs University (with M. Huett)

2006-2011      Director of the ICTS (International Center for Transdisciplinary Studies):
                       Scientific coordination of a program of conferences and workshops of        
                       various foci on campus of Jacobs University. The ICTS also supported short
                       term visits of external guests.

Previously Organized Workshops and Schools at Wuppertal University:

1999: QCD Sum Rules
1999: Concepts of Mass
1998: Two Topics in Gravitational Theory: Black Holes and Gravitational Waves
1998: Applications of Gauge Theories in Particle Physics and Beyond
1997: Field Theoretical Tools in Polymer and Particle Physics (with A. Klümper)


Funded Projects: 

Currently funded:

  • DFG-grant ME-1332/28-1: Design of Transient Winnerless Games of Competition

Recently funded:

  • BMBF Project CoNDyNet (Collective Nonlinear Dynamics of Complex Power Grids) in collaboration with the Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK), the Max-Planck Institut für Dynamik und Selbstorganisation (MPIDS Göttingen), the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) and the Forschungszentrum Jülich
  •  DFG-grant ME-1332/25-1: Physical Aging



H. Meyer-Ortmanns and S. Thurner as editors, Principles of Evolution: From the Planck Epoch to Complex Multicellular Life, The Frontiers Collection. p.1-386  (Springer, Heidelberg, 2011) .

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T. Reisz as authors, Principles of Phase Structures in Particle Physics, Lecture Notes in Physics 77, 682 pages (World Scientific, Singapore 2007).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and A. Klümper as editors, Proceedings of the Workshop on Field Theoretical Tools for Polymer and Particle Physics in Wuppertal (June 17-19, 1997), Lecture Notes in Physics, Vol. 508, p.1-258 (Springer, Heidelberg, 1998).


Contributions to Books
H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Trade-offs between Cost and Precision and their Possible Impact on Aging, to be published in: The Energetics of Computing in Life and Machines, D. H. Wolpert, P. F. Stadler, C. Kempes, J. Grochow, eds.  (SFI Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2019)

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, On the Success and Limitations of Reductionism in Physics, in: Why More is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. The Frontiers Collection.  B. Falkenburg and M. Morrison, eds., (Springer, Heidelberg, 2015) , p.13-39.

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Functional Complexity Based on Topology, p.1-15.  Advances in Network Complexity, M. Dehmer, A. Mowshowitz, and F. Emmert-Streib, eds. , (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) .

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and D. Labavic, Demographic Fluctuations and Inherent Time Scales in a Genetic Circuit, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, CSS-arXiv: paper 27 (2012).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Introduction,  in: Principles of Evolution: From the Planck Epoch to Complex Multicellular Life, p.1-44. The Frontiers Collection.  H. Meyer-Ortmanns and S. Thurner, eds., (Springer, Heidelberg, 2011).


Journal papers ordered with respect to topics
Statistical Physics Out-Of- Equilibrium, Nonlinear and Stochastic Processes

M. Voit and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, How to construct a fractal of rock-paper-scissors games, submitted for publication (January 2019).

M. Voit and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, How aging can be an unavoidable fate of dynamical systems, New J. Phys.21, 043045 (2019).

M. Voit and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Predicting the separation of time scales in a heteroclinic network,  to be published in Appl. Math. Nonl. Sci (2019).

B. L. Brown, H. Meyer-Ortmanns, M. Pleimling, Dynamically generated hierarchies in games of competition, submitted for publication (December2018).

M. Voit and H. Meyer-Ortmanns,   A hierarchical heteroclinic network: Controlling the time evolution along its paths,   Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. 227 , 1101 (2018).

M. Mureddu and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Extreme prices in electricity balancing markets from an approach of statistical physics, Physica A 490, 1324 (2018).

M. Rohden, D. Witthaut, M. Timme, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Curing critical links in oscillator networks as power flow models,  New J. Phys. 19, 013002 (2017).

D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Long-period clocks from short-period oscillators, Chaos 27, 083103 (2017).

S. Esmaeili, D. Labavic, M. Pleimling and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Breaking of time-translation invariance in Kuramoto dynamics with multiple time scales, Europhys. Lett.118,  40006 (2017).

D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Temporal self-similar synchronization patterns and scaling in repulsively coupled oscillators, arXiv:1705.04079,  Indian Academy of Sciences Conference Proceedings 1 (1), 101-108 (2017).

M. Mureddu, G. Caldarelli, A. Damiano, A. Scala and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Islanding the power grid on the transmission level: less connections for more security, Sci. Rep. 6, 34797; doi: 10.1038/srep34797 (2016).

D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Rock-paper-scissors played within competing domains in predator-prey games, arXiv:1608.05553, 42 pages, and J. Stat. Mech., 113402~1-21 (2016).

H. Nagel, H. Meyer-Ortmanns, and W. Janke, Boundary-drive-induced formation of    aggregate condensates in stochastic transport with short-range interactions, Europhys. Lett. 111, 30001 (2015).

D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, On the arrest of synchronized oscillations, Europhys. Lett. 109, 10 001-p1-p6 (2015).
D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Networks of coupled circuits: From a versatile toggle switch to collective coherent behavior, Chaos 24, 043118 1-14 (2014), see also: D. Labavic and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, A simple mechanism for controlling the onset and arrest of collective oscillations in genetic circuits,  arXiv:1402.0990.

H. Nagel, D. Labavic, H. Meyer-Ortmanns, and W. Janke, Open boundary conditions in stochastic transport processes with pair-factorized steady states, in: Computer Simulation Studies in Condensed-Matter Physics XXVII, eds. H.-B. Schüttler, S. Lewis, M. Bachmann, and D.P. Landau, Physics Procedia 57, 77 (2014).

D. Labavic, R. Suciu, H. Meyer-Ortmanns and S. Kettemann, Long-range response to transmission line disturbances in  DC electricity grids, Eur. Phys. J. Special Topics (EPJ ST) on “Resilient power grids and extreme events”,  223, 2517-2525  (2014).

F. Ionita and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Aging of classical oscillators, Phys. Rev. Lett.112, 094101 (2014).

F. Ionita, D. Labavic, M. Zaks, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Order-by-disorder in classical oscillator systems, Eur. Phys. J. B 86(12), 511-524 (2013).

D. Labavic, H. Nagel, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Caveats in modeling a common motif in  genetic circuits,  Phys. Rev. E87, 062706(11) , 11 pages (2013).

A. Garai, B. Waclaw, H. Nagel, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Stochastic  description of a bistable fustrated unit,  J. Stat. Mech.  P01009, 28 pages (2012).

P. Kaluza and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, A network of phase oscillators as a device for sequential pattern generation, arXiv:1107.2294v2 [nlin.CD] (2011).

P. Kaluza and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, On the role of frustration in excitable systems, Chaos 20, 043111-1-11 (2010) (11 pages),  selected for Virtual Journal of Biological Physics Research — November 15, 20 (10) (2010).

B. Waclaw, J. Sopik, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Mass condensation on networks, J. Phys.: Conference Series, JPCS 246, 012011 (2010).

P. Kaluza, C. Strege and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Noise as control parameter in excitable media: Role of the network topology, Phys. Rev. E 82, 036104 (2010).

B. Waclaw, J. Sopik, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Mass condensation in one dimension with pair-factorized steady states,  J. Stat. Mech. P10021 October (2009), 29 pages.

B. Waclaw, J. Sopik, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Tuning the shape of the condensate in spontaneous symmetry breaking, Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 080602-080606 (2009).

B. Waclaw, J. Sopik, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Pair-factorized steady states on arbitrary graphs,  J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 42,  315003-315011 (2009), see also: B. Waclaw, J. Sopik, W. Janke, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Pair-factorization of steady states on a ring, arXiv:0901.3664v1 (2009).

A. Samal and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Preferential attachment renders an evolving network of  populations  robust against crashes, Physica A 388, 1535-1545 (2009).

F. Radicchi, Y.Y. Ahn and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Impact of the updating scheme on stationary states of networks, J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 41 224010~1—7 (2008).

F. Radicchi, D.Vilone  and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Universality class of  triad dynamics  on a triangular lattice, Phys.Rev.E 75, 021118~1-9 (2007).

F. Radicchi, D.Vilone, S.Yoon, and H. Meyer-Ortmanns: Social Balance as a Satisfiability Problem of Computer Science, Phys.Rev.E 75, 026106~1-17 (2007).

T. Tesileanu and H.Meyer-Ortmanns,  Competition of languages and their Hamming distance, Int. J. Mod. Phys. C17(2), 259-277 (2006).

S.H.Yook and H.Meyer-Ortmanns, Synchronization of Rössler oscillators on scale-free topologies, Physica A 371 (2), 781-789 (2006).

F.Radicchi and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Entrainment of coupled oscillators on regular networks by pacemakers, Phys. Rev. E 73, 036218 1-7 (2006).

F.Radicchi and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Reentrant Synchronization and Pattern Formation in Pacemaker-Entrained Kuramoto Oscillators, Phys.Rev.E 74, 026203 1-9 (2006).

X. Li, H. Meyer-Ortmanns and X.Wang, Chaotic and periodic spreading dynamics in discrete small-world networks, IEEE Int. Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS 2005), May 23-26 Kobe, 280-283, (2005).

S.H. Yook, F. Radicchi and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Self-similar scale-free networks and disassortativity, Phys. Rev. E 72, 045105 1-4, Rapid Communications (2005).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Functional Complexity Index for Metabolic and Genetic Networks, Physica  A 346/1-2, 123-131 (2005).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Functional Complexity Measure for Networks, Physica A 337, 679-690 (2004).

D. Stauffer and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Simulation of consensus model of Deffuant et al. on a Barabási-Albert network, Int. J. Mod. Phys. C15, 241- 246 (2004).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Immigration, integration and ghetto formation, Int. J. Mod.Phys. C14, 311-320 (2003).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns,  Catastrophical senescence of the Pacific Salmon without mutation-accumulation, Int.J.Mod.Phys.C12, 319-323 (2001).


Statistical Physics and Quantum Field Theory (General)
F. Radicchi, D.Vilone  and H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Phase transition between synchronous and asynchronous updating algorithms, J.Stat.Phys. 129. 593 (2007) (11 pages).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T.Reisz, Dynamical linked cluster expansions with  applications to disordered systems, Eur.Phys.J.B27, 549-558 (2002).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, P.T.Landsberg, S.Abe, A.K.Rajagopal, and T.Yamano, A note on limitations of standard thermodynamics, Ann.Phys. (Leipzig) 11, 457-460 (2002).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T.Reisz, Dynamical linked  cluster expansions: A novel expansion scheme for point-link-point interactions, Int.J.Mod.Phys.A14, 947-985 (1999).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T.Reisz, The monotony criterion for a finite size scaling analysis of phase transitions, J. Math. Phys. 39, 5316-5323 (1998).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T.Reisz, Critical  phenomena with convergent series expansions in a finite volume, J.Stat.Phys.87, 755-798 (1997).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and T.Trappenberg, Surface  tension from finite volume vacuum tunneling in the 3d-Ising model, J.Stat.Phys.58, 185-198 (1990).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Applications of Zimmermann’s reduction of couplings in  Phi4-models, Phys.Lett.186B, 195-199 (1987).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns,  Proposal of a new upgrading  procedure for Monte Carlo experiments, Z. Phys.C27, 553-558 (1985).


The Phase Structure of Particle Physics
H. Meyer-Ortmanns, Phase transitions in quantum chromodynamics, Rev. Mod. Phys. 68, 474-592 (1996).


Effective Continuum Descriptions of Quantum Chromodynamics
H. Meyer-Ortmanns and B.-J.Schaefer, How sharp is the chiral crossover phenomenon for realistic meson masses? Phys.Rev.D53, 6586-6601 (1996).

D. Metzger, H. Meyer-Ortmanns and H.-J.Pirner, Chiral symmetry restoration at finite temperature in the linear sigma model, Phys. Lett.B321, 66-74 (1994);  Erratum, Phys. Lett.B328}547 (1994).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, H.-J.Pirner and B.-J.Schaefer, Chiral Thermodynamics in the 1/N expansion, Phys. Lett. B311, 213-218 (1993).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and A. Patkós, On the temperature dependent effective potential of scalar field  theories, Phys. Lett. B297, 331-336 (1992).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, H.-J.Pirner and A.Patkós, Mass sensitivity of chiral symmetry restoration at finite temperature, Phys.Lett. B295, 255-262 (1992).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, H.-J.Pirner and A.Patkós, Chiral symmetry restoration in the linear sigma model, Int.J.Mod.Phys.C3, 993-1009 (1992).


Lattice Gauge Theory of Quantum Chromodynamics and Related Models
B. Berg,  H. Meyer-Ortmanns, and A. Velytsky, Dynamics of phase transitions with hysteresis measurements II, Phys.Rev.D70, 054505 1-12 (2004).

B. Berg, U. Heller, H. Meyer-Ortmanns, and A. Velytsky, Dynamics of phase transitions with hysteresis measurements I, Phys. Rev. D69, 034501 1-11 (2004).

H. Arkan, B.Berg, T.Celik and H.Meyer-Ortmanns,  Study of phase separation in a first-order phase transition:  nucleation versus spinodal decomposition,  Int.J.Mod.Phys.C10, 1261-1269  (1999).

F. Karsch and H.Meyer-Ortmanns, Phase structure of O(N)-symmetric Phi(6)-models at small and intermediate N, Phys. Lett. 193B,  489-494 (1987).

A. Duncan, H. Meyer-Ortmanns and R.Roskies, Variational methods in supersymmetric lattice  field theory: The  vacuum sector, Phys.Rev.D36 3788-3796 (1987).

K.C. Bowler, A. Hasenfratz, P. Hasenfratz, U. Heller, F. Karsch, R.D. Kenway, H. Meyer-Ortmanns, I.Montvay, G.S. Pawley  and D.J. Wallace, Monte Carlo renormalization group studies of SU(3) lattice gauge theory, Nucl. Phys.B257, FS14, 155-172 (1985).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns and I. Montvay, Monte-Carlo studies of glueball masses in SU(2), Phys. Lett. 145B, 251-255 (1984).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns, The vortex free energy in the screening phase of the  Z(2)-Higgs model, Nucl.Phys. B235, FS11, 115-122 (1984).

H. Meyer-Ortmanns,  Unexpected behavior of an order parameter for lattice gauge theories with matter fields, Nucl.Phys. B230, FS10, 31-48 (1984).

G.Mack and H. Meyer, A disorder parameter that tests for confinement in gauge theories with quark fields, Nucl.Phys. B200, 249-265 (1982).


Classical Generalizations of Einstein’s General Relativity
H. Meyer,  Møller’s tetrad theory of gravitation  as a special case of Poincaré  gauge theory – a coincidence?, GRG 14, 531-547 (1982).