Detlef Dürr studied physics at the University of Münster where he obtained his PhD in 1978. He joined the statistical physics group of Joel Lebowitz in Rutgers, New Jersey, first supported by DAAD, then by DFG and later on as associate professor. He stayed at Rutgers with small interruptions until 1984.
He did his habilitation in mathematics in 1984 in the University in Bochum and changed afterwards to the University of Bielefeld. In the same year he became Heisenberg research fellow which allowed him several research stays abroad, among them IHES (Paris), IAS (Princeton), La Sapienza (Rome), university of Warwick. In 1989 he became Fiebiger-professor at the Department of Mathematics at the LMU.
Foundations of statistical physics, non equilibrium statistical mechanics, foundations of quantum theory, Bohmian Mechanics, collapse theories, direct interaction theories, quantum gravitation, shape space dynamics.
His research is strongly influenced by his more than 30 years long collaboration with Sheldon Goldstein (Rutgers) and Nino Zanghi (Genova).