The research activities at the QUEST Quantum Logic Spectroscopy group revolve around fundamental questions: Are the constants of nature actually constant? How accurate are the predictions of physical theories? The variation of fundamental constants predicted by several theories would manifest itself in a shift of atomic and molecular energy levels. Therefore, these questions can be answered by precision measurements of the internal structure of trapped and laser-cooled ions. Quantum engineering techniques developed for quantum information processing allow probing of previously inaccessible atoms and molecules with unprecedented accuracy.
The picture shows a sketch of an ion trap illustrating the principle of quantum logic spectroscopy: a logic ion (blue) is used for cooling, state preparation and readout of the spectroscopy ion (red). Using this "quantum logic spectroscopy", a highly accurate optical clock based on a single aluminum ion is being developed. A comparison with other accurate clocks allows the detection of a variation of fundamental constants, deviations from Einstein’s theory of relativity, but also more practical applications, such as measurements of the gravitational potential of the earth (relativistic geodesy). In addition to these laboratory investigations, also astro-physical approaches are supported. Absorption spectra of interstellar clouds are compared with today’s precise quantum logic spectroscopy data to probe a possible variation of constants on cosmological time scales. These research results will aid in developing a refined theory and therefore an improved understanding of nature.
In collaboration with the MPIK in Heidelberg, we have realized the preparation of highly charged ions embedded in a coulomb crystal consisting of laser cooled Beryllium ions. Highly charged ions are promising candidates for...
Fabian Wolf has received the poster prize at Les Houches Winterschool for his presentation about Quantum Logic Spectroscopy of Molecular Ions
Florian Gebert has received his PhD. He is part of the DIFCOS team and the title of his thesis is Precision measurement of the isotopic shift in calcium ions using photon recoil spectroscopy
Ian Leroux has received the Heraeus Poster Prize (2nd place) for his poster presentation at the 576th Heraeus Seminar "Designed quantum states of matter". The title of his poster was Building a Portable 27Al+...
Wednesday, 19.11.2014, at 13:00 h ,Paschen-Bau Seminar room