Personal profile:

Profile photo of  Prof. Dr. Matthias Gottschalk

Prof. Dr. Matthias Gottschalk

Section 4.3: Chemistry and Physics of Earth Materials

Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Building D, room 322
14473 Potsdam
Phone: +49 331 288-1418
Fax: +49 331 288-1402
e-mail: matthias.gottschalk(at)


About the person

Research Interests:

For the understanding of processes within the Earth, knowledge of the relevant chemical equilibria is required. The macroscopic thermodynamic framework provides the necessary tools to describe these equilibria. Their evaluation requires, however, input parameters which are based on microscopic properties on the atomic scale. Examples are structures and mixing properties of crystalline solids, structural properties and speciation of melts and fluids. All this as a function of pressure, temperature, and composition.

In this context my work compromises the development of physical-chemical tools which are applicable in geosciences to determine and describe geochemical equilibria in the chemical complex system of the Earth. More specific my projects use the following methods:
  • chemical thermodynamics
  • statistical physics
  • accurate and quantitative ab-initio calculations
  • determination of atomic interaction potentials
  • Monte-Carlo simulations
  • X-ray diffraction of powders and single crystals
  • X-ray structure refinement using the Rietveld-method from powder diffraction patterns
  • X-ray structure determination from single crystals
  • infrared spectroscopy

Research topics besides others are:
  • equations of state of chemical complex fluids and melts
  • thermodynamic mixing properties of solid solutions
  • Derivation of internally consistent datasets using results from phase equilibria studies