Researchers tap quantum tech for better clocks, sensors

Researchers tap quantum tech for better clocks, sensors

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

For a long time, isolated atoms and molecules are used to study fundamental questions of physics; actually such single-particle systems are one of the most controllable systems. The latest developments in metrology demonstrate impressively the control over such systems; examples are optical clocks with 18-digit precision or matter-waves interferometers that can separate wave packets by several decimeters.


Extending this expertise and control from single-particle systems to large interdependent and mutually entangled multi-particle systems will now make it possible to significantly increase exactness and resolution of quantum-based sensors, the scientists hope. Besides practical applications, these high-precision measurements with optical clocks and matter-wave interferometers will also make it possible to verify our understanding of the laws of physics – including questions like potential deviation of natural constants, violations of fundamental symmetries in physics as well as the links between quantum systems and gravitation.


In the freshly launched collaborative research center with the somewhat complicated name “Designed Quantum Stati of the Matter (DQ-mat) – Generating, Manipulating and Detecting for Metrology Applications and Tests of fundamental Physics”, the University of Hannover, the Germany metrology institute PTB and the Center for Applied Astronautics and Micro Gravitation of the Bremen University are working together. The collaborative research center is designed to last for 12 years.


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