Erfolgreiche Quantenforschung an LUH und PTB: Großprojekt wird verlängert

Successful quantum research at LUH and PTB: Major project extended


Collaborative Research Centre DQ-mat receives around 9.2 million euros for quantum physical basic research until 2024

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is funding the Collaborative Research Centre 1227 - Designed Quantum States of Matter (DQ-mat) for a further four years with a budget of around 9.2 million euros. This was announced by the DFG Senate after its meeting on 28 May 2020. "The scientists and researchers in the Collaborative Research Centre DQ-mat have demonstrated outstanding research performance over the past four years. I am very pleased with this decision and would like to thank the players for their great commitment. The DFG's vote shows once again that Leibniz Universität is also one of the leading universities in Germany and beyond in the field of quantum optics," explains the President of Leibniz Universität, Professor Volker Epping. In addition to Leibniz Universität, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig is also involved in the Collaborative Research Centre.

In DQ-mat, the scientists leave the boundaries of classical physics behind and explore the impressive world of quantum mechanics, which with its phenomena such as entanglement and superposition is often in contrast to everyday experience. But it was only the understanding of the principles of quantum effects that enabled the development of numerous technologies that are now commonplace today, such as lasers or navigation systems.

The understanding and control of quantum systems consisting of single atoms or molecules is already well advanced. In the Collaborative Research Centre DQ-mat, researchers now want to extend this control to larger, interacting systems. "Only the control of many-body effects makes it possible, for example, to develop quantum sensors such as atomic clocks as timepieces or atomic interferometers for measuring accelerations with previously unattained accuracy and resolution," explains SFB spokesperson Professor Piet Schmidt. In addition to questions about the generation and properties of such many-body quantum systems, the scientists also want to advance into new areas for testing fundamental physics. These include, for example, questions about a possible change in natural constants or the search for candidates for dark matter.

In the first funding period, important foundations were laid for this purpose, on which the DQ-mat researchers want to build over the next four years. For example, they have tested a new sensor concept with coupled light fields, developed a new type of cooling process to simplify quantum simulators, taken the first steps towards building a quantum computer with ions or demonstrated the entanglement of several thousand atoms. These activities are now to be continued and will contribute to a better understanding of physical principles in new fields of application.

With the foeXlab, an out-of-school student laboratory, the Collaborative Research Centre also aims to close the gap between the public perception of quantum physics and research. "Quantum physics is a topic for the future, but is usually only dealt with in theory in schools. With foeXlab, we offer experimental stations for interferometry and with real quantum states of light. Schools cannot afford this for equipment reasons alone," says Schmidt. The foeXlab has been very successfully integrated into the Hanover educational region and, in addition to the experimental courses for pupils of secondary level II, also includes offers for teacher training and the training of student teachers.

The Collaborative Research Centre 1227: Designed Quantum States of Matter (DQ-mat) - Production, Manipulation and Detection for Metrological Applications and Tests of Fundamental Physics started on 01.07.2016, the second funding period now runs until 31.06.2024. It can be extended by a maximum of four more years.


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For further information, please contact the spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Centre, Prof. Dr. Piet Schmidt, by phone on +49 531 592 4700 or by e-mail at