What is Origins?

The Excellence Cluster Origins investigates the development of the Universe from the Big Bang to the emergence of life. The interdisciplinary research network has been funded within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federation and the Länder since January 2019 and builds on the research achievements of the Excellence Cluster Universe (2006-2018), which has attracted worldwide attention.

Origins uniquely combines the disciplines of astrophysics, biophysics and particle physics to search for the connection between planet formation and the formation of the first prebiotic molecules. Among other things, the scientists want to show that life is the product of a natural process, a logical outcome of the evolution of the universe - which can be understood based on the laws of physics and chemistry and the initial conditions created by the Big Bang.

The Ludwigs-Maximillians-Universität (LMU), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), five Max Planck Institutes, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Leibniz Computing Centre (LRZ) are involved in the Excellence Cluster Origins.


The Grand Research Challenges of Origins

  • What is the nature and structure of matter and the forces governing it?

  • How did the Universe form and evolve?

  • How did its complex structures from the cosmic web to galaxies, stars and planets form?

  • How did the building blocks from “atoms” to “prebiotic molecules” emerge?

  • How did life originate on Earth and is there life elsewhere?