Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center forTime, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries
Our center members Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, PTB) and Dr. José R. Crespo López-Urrutia
(Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, MPIK) are coauthors of a recent article published in "Nature".
In the article, P. Micke, T. Leopold, S. A. King et al. report on pioneering optical measurements of highly charged ions with unprecedented precision. The measurements were carried out by isolating a single highly charged 40Ar13+ ion from an extremely hot plasma and bringing it practically to rest inside a cryogenic linear Paul trap together with a laser-cooled, singly charged 9Be+ ion. This technique enabled the scientists to perform coherent, optical-clock-like laser spectroscopy of an electric-dipole-forbidden optical transition in an highly charged ion (HCI) using quantum logic, at a level of precision that is eight orders of magnitude higher than the previous state of the art.
The experiment proves the feasibility of hertz-level optical spectroscopy of HCIs and opens up this large class of atomic systems to the tools of cutting-edge frequency metrology and quantum information processing. The presented techniques are not limited to the proof-of-principle HCI, 40Ar13+, but can be applied more generally to forbidden transitions in other HCIs. Furthermore, the demonstrated techniques are not limited to the optical domain and thus will enable novel high-accuracy atomic clocks based on HCIs and unrivalled tests of fundamental physics.
In a recent article published in "Nature" our steering board member Dr. Christian Smorra, the BASE collaboration and the Budker group from the Helmholtz Institute Mainz report on the direct experimental search for interactions between antimatter and dark matter. The measurement was performed at the Antiproton Decelerator (AD) of CERN, Geneva, utilizing a novel two-particle spectroscopy method in an advanced cryogenic multi-Penning trap system. The result reported in the present article searches for periodic changes of the antiproton spin precession frequency as signature for the axion-antiproton interaction. The measurements allowed setting considerable first constraints on the possible strength of the interaction between ultralight axion-like particles with antiprotons, which are five orders of magnitude more sensitive than astrophysical limits.
Our scientific coordinator Dr. Andreas Mooser (MPIK, division of Klaus Blaum) and steering board member Dr. Christian Smorra
(RIKEN and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz) received the "IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in Atomic, Molecular
and Optical Physics 2019".
Both young scientists received the prize "for their outstanding contributions to determine the most precise comparison of the proton-to-antiproton charge-to-mass ratios and the most precise comparison of the proton and antiproton magnetic moments, constituting two different world-record tests of the fundamental charge, parity, and time reversal symmetry in these systems".
The prize was granted on July 29, 2019 on the "XXXIst International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions (ICPEAC)" at Deauville, Normandy, France. It includes a certificate, a medal and an invited presentation at ICPEAC.
We cordially congratulate Dr. Andreas Mooser and Dr. Christian Smorra on receiving this distinction of their scientific work.
On April 8, 2019, the inauguration of the Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center for Time, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries,
took place at RIKEN, Tokyo, Japan.
For this event, a symposium was organized with invited speakers Marianna Safronova (Univ. Delaware) and Yoshiro Takahashi (Kyoto University), and center speakers Klaus Blaum (MPG), Ekkehard Peik (PTB), and Stefan Ulmer (RIKEN). Guests like Prof. M. Stratmann (President MPG), Prof. J. Ullrich (President PTB), Prof. S. Koyasu and Prof. M. Kotani (RIKEN Executive Directors), and Dr. H. von Werthern, the ambassador of Germany in Japan, joined the event.
Information of the Max Planck Society on the new Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center:
The Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK), the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and Japan's largest comprehensive research institution RIKEN have proposed a new research center to intensify their successful collaboration in the domain of "Time, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries".
The application of this Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center for Time, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries has been approved in October 2018 for five years. The new initiative started on January 1, 2019, the official opening ceremony will be on April 8, 2019 at RIKEN in Tokyo, Japan. The total financial budget will be about 1.5 M€ per year, shared equally between MPG, PTB and RIKEN. The research center will be operated by three Co-Directors: Klaus Blaum (MPG), Ekkehard Peik (PTB), and Stefan Ulmer (RIKEN).
The MPIK participates with two divisions in the "Center for Time, Constants and Fundamental Symmetries", our division on “Physics with Stored and Cooled Ions” leaded by Klaus Blaum and the division of Thomas Pfeifer on "Quantum Dynamics and Control".
The new Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center will provide a synergetic and close collaboration, especially on the students'
level, between experimental groups in atomic physics, antimatter physics, nuclear physics, quantum optics and
metrology to tackle fore-front topics in precision measurements of time and constants of nature, to test
fundamental symmetries and contribute to ultra-high precision searches for physics beyond the Standard Model
of particle physics.
The leaders of the Max Planck-RIKEN-PTB Center expect that the intensified collaboration will lead to the development of novel experimental techniques which will outperform the state-of-the-art of contemporary experiments.