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Stored and Cooled Ions Division
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Master and bachelor theses

Theses within the PENTATRAP project at MPIK

PENTATRAP Penning trap system

PENTATRAP is a high-precision Penning-trap mass spectrometer aiming at mass-ratio measurements on highly-charged ions with a relative uncertainty below 10-11. This unique precision allows, e.g., for contributions to neutrino physics research (physics beyond the standard model), a direct test of E=mc2 and tests of QED theory in strong fields.

To achieve this precision, PENTATRAP is equipped with a 7 Tesla superconduction magnet, which contains a stack of five cylindrical Penning traps and amplifier electronics in a 4 Kelvin ultra-high vacuum environment. To determine the mass of an ion, we make use of the ion cyclotron motion caused by a strong magnetic field. The cyclotron frequency ωc=q/m·B is measured via the image charge current which is induced on the trap electrodes by a single trapped ion. The five Penning traps allow us to compensate for systematic errors by switching ions between traps and simultaneously monitor the magnetic field.

We are currently looking for bachelor and master students for different projects involving enhancements and complete new developments of the cryogenic detection system. These topics for theses include (but are not limited to):

  1. Desgin study of cryogenic switches: Your tasks would involve the development and manufacturing of cryogenic switches in collaboration with our workshop. You will test these self-build devices as well as commercially available switches in a dedicated 4K environment (cryostat).

  2. Development of a single resonator cyclotron detection system for multiple Penning traps: Your tasks include the design, manufacturing and testing the new resonator coil, the dedicated electronics and the switching system (see project 1) inside a 4K environment (cryostat). Finally you will integrate your system in PENTATRAP and test the detection system with trapped ions.

  3. Characterization of an ultra stable voltage reference and/or development of alternative voltage references: Additionnaly to the characterization of the current voltage reference of our ultra stable voltage source StaRep (which provides the potentials for our trap electrodes) you could develope a complete new voltage reference based on our as well as your ideas and build it with the help of our electronics department.

For most of these tasks it would be preferable if you have strong interests in programming and/or designing electronic circuits.

If you are interested in one of these topics don't hesitate to contact us! We would be happy to show you our labs.

Klaus Blaum ()