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In the new joint project “ATIQ – Quantencomputer mit gespeicherten Ionen für Anwendungen” (quantum computers with stored ions for applications), 25 partners are aiming to develop the first generation of reliable and user-friendly quantum computer demonstrators with around-the-clock availability on the basis of ion trap technology within 30 months. To achieve this, the leading ion trap research groups at the universities of Hannover/Braunschweig, Siegen and Mainz have joined forces with research institutes (including PTB) and partners from industry. The project is being funded with 37.4 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. (Contact: Christian Ospelkaus, +49 531 592-4740, Opens local program for sending emailchristian.ospelkaus(at)ptb.de)

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Mathias Richter
Mathias Richter, Head of Division 7 Temperature and Synchrotron Radiation, was elected to the Council of the German Physical Society (DPG).

Piet Schmidt
Piet Schmidt, Head of the QUEST Institute at PTB, was appointed as a “Fellow of the American Physical Society” (APS) in recognition of his achievements in the development of quantum logic spectroscopy techniques and their application in high-precision measurements of optical transitions in atoms, molecules and highly charged ions.

Ekkehard Peik
Ekkehard Peik,Head of Department 4.4 Time and Frequency, received the “I. I. Rabi Award 2021” from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in recognition of his achievements in the development of optical clocks and in tests of fundamental physics.

Uwe Sterr
Uwe Sterr, a staff member of Department 4.3 Quantum Optics and Unit of Length, received the “European Frequency and Time Award” (EFTA Award) in 2020...

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Schematic representation of the measurement setup used for calibrating an MFM tip by means of a quantum sensor. The MFM tip (turquoise) generates a magnetic stray field which can be measured precisely over a single NV center (yellow) in a diamond substrate (blue). If the tip is scanned over the NV center, its stray field distribution is obtained – and thus quantum-accuracy information on its magnetic imaging properties is also gained.

A classical measurement system for measuring magnetic field distributions, which vary spatially on the nanometer scale, was calibrated by means of an atomic quantum sensor for the first time. This new calibration procedure does not depend on simplifying model assumptions and allows more reliable measurements of magnetic field distributions with high spatial resolution.

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Die Teilchen sind innerhalb der goldenen Struktur in der Mitte gespeichert. Der Aufbau ist innen hohl und ähnelt einem Stapel von Unterlegscheiben unterschiedlicher Dicke. (Foto: Stefan F. Sämmer/JGU Mainz)

A new method to cool protons by means of laser-cooled ions – in this case, beryllium ions – has been successfully implemented for the first time worldwide. What is new about this method is that the cooling power can now be transmitted via a resonant electric circuit, covering an enhanced distance of 9 cm from one trap to the other. In this way, the proton in one of the traps can be cooled down to much lower temperatures than previously.

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Zwischen Deutschland, England und Frankreich existiert eine Art Autobahn für optische Frequenzen. Das Glasfasernetz dient bisher zum Vergleich von Frequenzen zwischen Metrologieinstituten, etwa aus optischen Atomuhren. Nun haben die Autoren einer Studie unter Beteiligung der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB), die in der aktuellen Ausgabe von Nature Communications erscheint, gezeigt, wie ultrastabile Laserfrequenzen aus den Metrologieinstituten per Glasfaser anderen Anwendern zugänglich gemacht werden können. Das internationale Forscherteam unter Leitung des britischen Metrologieinstitutes National Physical Laboratory (NPL) beweist darin, dass die extrem hohe Frequenzstabilität der eingesetzten ultrastabilen Laser auch bei der langen Reise zwischen ihren Instituten fast verlustfrei übertragen werden kann. Dies bestätigt die großen Hoffnungen, die auf dieser Art von Frequenztransfer liegen.

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Jens Frahm erhält den Siemensring

Berlin, 14. Dezember 2021 – Der Physiker Prof. Dr. Jens Frahm erhält den 39. Werner-von-Siemens-Ring für sein herausragendes Lebenswerk in der medizintechnischen Forschung. Seine Arbeit zur Magnetresonanztomografie, kurz MRT, hat die diagnostische Bildgebung entscheidend vereinfacht. Heyo K. Kroemer, Vorstandsvorsitzender der Charité Berlin mit wichtiger Anwenderperspektive, würdigte Frahms Arbeit in einer inspirierenden Laudatio. Auch Nathalie von Siemens, Vertreterin der Familie von Siemens, fand bewegende Worte zu den bedeutenden Forschungsleistungen des Göttinger Wissenschaftlers. Die Preisverleihung fand mit einem kleinen Publikum in der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB), Institut Berlin, statt und konnte online über einen Livestream verfolgt werden.

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Laser cooling

Laser beams can do more than just heat things up; they can cool them down too. That is nothing new for physicists who have devoted themselves to precision spectroscopy and the development of optical atomic clocks. But what is new is the extremely low temperature that researchers at the QUEST Institute at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have been able to reach with their highly charged ions – this type of ion has never been cooled down as far as 200 µK before. The team working on this succeeded by combining their established methods which include the laser cooling of coupled ions and methods from the field of quantum computing. The application of quantum algorithms ensured that ions that are too dissimilar for traditional laser cooling to work effectively could be cooled down together after all. This means that we are getting closer to an optical atomic clock with highly charged ions, and this clock might have the...

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The hydrogen innovation laboratory called “Nachhaltige Verbrennungskonzepte” (sustainable combustion concepts) has been launched. The project is entering its threeyear implementation phase with funding provided by Lower Saxony’s Ministry of Science and Culture totaling 1.2 million euros. PTB is participating alongside Leibniz University Hannover, TU Braunschweig, TU Clausthal and Jade University of Applied Sciences in Wilhelmshaven. (Contact: Ravi Fernandes, +49 531 592-3300, Opens local program for sending emailravi.fernandes(at)ptb.de)

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The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing the MIQRO joint project with 15.8 million euros in funding. In this project, a quantum computer is to be developed which is based on high-frequency-controlled ions. In addition to PTB, Leibniz University Hannover, the University of Siegen, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, and the QUARTIQ and eleQtron companies are also taking part as associated partners. This four-year project intends to scale the quantum computer that it will develop and operate to one thousand quantum bits after its completion, paving the way toward diverse industrial and academic applications which will surpass the abilities of classic super computers. (Contact: Christian Ospelkaus, +49 531 592-4740, Opens local program for sending emailchristian.ospelkaus(at)ptb.de)

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Simulated developments of possible random-walk progressions of the error signal x across the number <em>t</em> of repetitions of the circuit operation, taking the counting statistics of the error signal that as measured experimentally into account. The orange curve emphasizes the example of one of these possible progressions. The linewidths of the blue curves correspond to the statistical frequencies of each of the assumed states.

Manipulating individual electrons with the goal of employing quantum effects promises qualitatively new applications in electronics. However, these single-electron circuits, which are governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, exhibit statistical deviations from error-free operation. This results in a fundamental uncertainty that is essential to understand and to quantify for further developments. To this end, PTB and the University of Latvia have collaborated to develop a statistical testing methodology.

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