Precision experiments with stored ions and antimatterMax Planck Institute for Nuclear PhysicsUniversity of HeidelbergEuropean Research Council
Ultracold Ions and Antimatter Research
Contakt Contact
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Alban Kellerbauer

Tel.: +49-6221-516-138
Fax: +41-22-7669185 (efax)

Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics
Room Bo-164
Saupfercheckweg 1
69117 Heidelberg



Ion traps allow the confinement and observation of charged particles over long periods of time. The motions and quantum states of stored ions can be manipulated with a variety of sophisticated techniques and the ground state properties of the particles extracted very precisely.
Furthermore, ion traps allow the synthesis of exotic antimatter systems which do not occur naturally. Ultra-high-precision measurements performed in ion traps can make significant contributions to a wide range of fundamental studies and rival those obtained with large-scale particle physics facilities. In recognition of their seminal work on the development of ion traps and trapping techniques, Wolfgang Paul and Hans Dehmelt were awarded the Nobel prize in Physics in 1989. As new experimental challenges in the study of exotic systems arise, the techniques used for capture, cooling, and mixing of ion species have to be constantly improved and refined.

The University of Heidelberg, in close collaboration with the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI) in Darmstadt and the University of Mainz, has a long and successful track record of research with ion traps. Current activities include the Penning trap mass spectrometer ISOLTRAP at CERN and the planned measurement of the g factor of the bound electron in hydrogen-like calcium. More recently, the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics has become a key participant in the design and construction of the future FAIR facility at GSI, which will make available low-energy, high-intensity beams of exotic atoms and antiprotons at its low-energy extension FLAIR.

The research group "Ultracold Ions and Antimatter Research" under the supervision of PD Dr. Alban Kellerbauer carries out a broad range of research activities both in Heidelberg and at international large-scale facilities, including CERN. With the help of graduate students enrolled at the University of Heidelberg, state-of-the-art precision measurements of ground state properties are carried out and novel storage and cooling techniques are developed. All current and planned projects are embedded in international networks and collaborations in order to encourage the exchange of innovative ideas and to favor the training and mobility of young researchers.