Manfred Kleber

Prof. Dr.

Former professor of theoretical physics
TUM School of Natural Sciences

born March 19, 1942


Interview with TUM Emeritus of Excellence Manfred Kleber

"If you don't continue learning all the time, you're lost"

TUM Alumnus Manfred Kleber is a passionate physicist. Receiving an award was never what drove him. Researching and teaching in a circle of motivated colleagues has made him very happy. [read more]


Manfred Kleber started his academic career in the area of theoretical nuclear physics, later turning to questions in the field of atomic physics such as radiation problems in heavy ions physics. He focused on accelerator physics and developed a time-dependent optimization and variational method to determine electron-positron generation in batches between heavy atoms and heavy, high-energy and highly charged ions. Manfred Kleber took a particular interest in quantum mechanical tunneling dynamics that went beyond the boundaries of classical physics. His research focused on realistic 3-D tunneling and the tunneling time problem. At the same time, he conducted research on the interaction of light and matter and, most recently, on scanning tunneling microscope theory, the behavior of matter and matter waves in a strong laser field as well as the role of an electrical field in the quantum Hall effect. Manfred Kleber has an outstanding reputation in his academic fields. His decades of particular commitment to the further education of teachers and support of secondary schools is just as important. Even after reaching retirement, he continued and strengthened his work in these areas. He is an excellent ambassador for TUM in teaching and a support for the TUM School of Education, founded in 2009. He has been active as a mentor for particularly talented students in the TUM: Junge Akademie.

Short biography

1961 – 1966 Study of physics, TH Munich
1969 Doctorate in theoretical nuclear physics, TH Munich
1972 – 1973 Postdoctoral research, Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, Berkeley, California, USA
1973 – 1977 Academic assistant, Department of Physics, TUM
1977 – 1980 Professor of theoretical physics, University of Cologne
1980 – 2007 Professor of theoretical physics, TUM


Memberships and honors

Member of German Physical Society (DPG)

Member of the American Physical Society

Member of Friends and Sponsors of the TUM Department of Physics

Collaboration with the advanced study groups at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden (2008-2009)


Research stays

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Visiting professor, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Muizenberg, South Africa (2007)


Scientific projects

Section project head of German Research Foundation (DFG) priority program 470: “Modellmäßige Behandlung der Wechselwirkung von Atomen mit starken Laserfeldern” (1995-1998)

Section project head of DFG´s Collaborative Research Center (SFB) 338: “Adsorption an Festkörperoberflächen” on the topic “Mechanismen für Elektron- und Atomtransfer im Rastertunnelmikroskop” (1989-2001)



  • Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics (2006)

You can download "Explanations of honors and awards" here [PDF 215 Kb]