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The nucleus of thorium-229 possesses a property that is unique among all known nuclides: It should be possible to excite it with ultraviolet light. To date, little has been known about the low-energy state of the Th-229 nucleus that is responsible for this property. Together with their colleagues from Munich and Mainz, researchers at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have now performed the first-ever measurements – using optical methods – of some important properties of this nuclear state such as the shape of its charge distribution. In this way, a laser excitation of the atomic nucleus can be monitored, thus allowing an optical nuclear clock to be realized that “ticks” more precisely than present-day atomic clocks. The scientists have reported their results in the current issue of Nature.

 

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Stephan Weil mit Siliziumkugel

 

Einen prägnanten Eindruck von der großen thematischen Bandbreite der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) bekam Ministerpräsident Stephan Weil bei seinem Besuch der PTB am 11. April. Stephan Weil informierte sich sowohl über die Grundlagenforschung bei den Atomuhren als auch über die sehr anwendungsnahen PTB-Aufgaben auf dem Feld der Energiewende bei der Besichtigung des neuen Windenergiezentrums der PTB. Hauptsächlich ging es jedoch um wissenschaftspolitische Themen von beiderseitigem Interesse. „Ich bin überaus beeindruckt von den messtechnischen Leistungen und der wissenschaftspolitischen Weitsicht der PTB. Die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter leisten hier in Braunschweig exzellente Arbeit und tragen maßgeblich dazu bei, dass die PTB auf Landes- und Bundesebene zu den herausragenden Forschungseinrichtungen zählt“, so Stephan Weil beim Gespräch mit dem PTB-Präsidium. 

 

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The "Young Scientist Award", endowed with 1000 euros, was awarded for the first time within the scope of the 9th High Level Expert Meeting "Asphere Metrology", hosted by the Competence Center Ultrapräzise Oberflächenbearbeitung (CC UPOB e.V.). This award is intended to nurture and honour young scientists working in the fields of ultra-precise surface finishing. The nominated candidates presented the results of their research to the audience of experts in the form of short lectures and a poster. Jan-Henrik Hagemann, a doctoral candidate from PTB's Working Group 4.22, "Flatness Metrology", won first prize for his work on the interferometric measurement of the form of optical surfaces with partly coherent multi-source illumination.

 

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Aufbau der transportablen optischen Uhr

 

A European collaboration involving clock experts from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRIM) has used PTB's transportable optical atomic clocks to measure gravitation for the first time. The results of the experiment were published in Opens external link in new windowNature Physics.

Listen to a Opens external link in new windowNature Podcast (15 February) on this topic!

 

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MetroSommer-Flyer 2018

 

Von der Grundlagenforschung bis zur Technischen Zusammenarbeit – vom 1. August bis zum 28. September 2018 können Studierende in aktuellen Forschungsprojekten der Physikalisch-Technischen Bundesanstalt (PTB) mitarbeiten. Das Motto lautet: „Dein genauester Sommer!“ Denn in der PTB geht es immer um metrologische Genauigkeit, um die Kunst des Messens. Wer sich dafür begeistern kann, zwei Monate lang intensiv und gemeinsam mit hochqualifizierten Kolleginnen und Kollegen an relevanten wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Fragestellungen zu arbeiten, wird hier mit Sicherheit ein passendes Projekt finden. Die erstklassige technische Ausstattung der PTB und ihr breites Aufgabenspektrum bieten eine einmalige Basis für eigene Forschungserfolge. Die Bewerbungsfrist läuft bis zum 30. April 2018.

 

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Awards

Frank Härtig

Dr. Härtig, the head of Division 1 “Mechanics and Acoustics” has been appointed President Elect of IMEKO following a unanimous vote in his favor. In the coming three years, he will coordinate 24 technical committees. In 2021, he will then take over the presidency of IMEKO for three years.

Gisa Foyer , Holger Kahmann

Mr. Kahmann, who works in Department 1.2 “Solid Mechanics” and Dr. Foyer, who previously worked in the same department, have received the György Striker Junior Paper Award for best publication at the IMEKO XXII World Congress in Belfast. Their publication, titled “A finite element analysis of effects on force lever systems under nacelle test bench conditions”, was developed within the scope of an EMPIR project on the traceability of torque measurements in wind turbine testing facilities.

Davood Momeni Pakdehi

At Graphene Week 2018, a conference held by the European Graphene Flagship, Davood Momeni...

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The International System of Units (SI) is being fundamentally revised. The foremost expert committee in the world of metrology, the International Committee for Weights and Measures (Comité international des poids et mesures, CIPM), issued its fundamental recommendation for this development at its recently concluded annual assembly. It is hoped that, at their general conference in November 2018, the international community of signatories to the Metre Convention will heed the experts’ advice and provide the physical units with an especially firm foundation – one that consists of the set values of selected fundamental constants. The seven base units will thereby lose their prominent role. Instead, seven fundamental constants will be determined as defining reference entities from which all units can be derived.

 

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Image of the atoms in the ionic crystal when the interaction inside a chain is higher (a) or smaller (b) than between the two chains. A phase transition occurs between the two regimes; this phase transition leads to a break in the symmetry in finite systems (see red and yellow configurations). The graph below represents the measured curve of the order parameter Ф (a measure of the symmetry in the system). α is an experimental parameter which determines the distance between the two chains.

 

Investigations carried out at PTB’s QUEST Institute in a model system consisting of ion chains sliding over each other have provided fundamental findings on friction in nanostructures and biomolecules. In the event of defects in the lattice structure, a transition toward superlubricity has been observed and explained.

 

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Links: Prof. Dr. h. c. mult. Hasso Plattner (Foto: SAP SE/Wolfgang Scheible). Rechts: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Joachim Milberg (Foto: BMW)

 

Der Werner-von-Siemens-Ring, der die Lebensleistung bedeutender Ingenieure würdigt, bildet diesmal gleich zwei Zukunftsfelder ab: Mobilität und Digitalisierung. Auf ihren jeweiligen Gebieten gehören die Preisträger zu den ganz Großen ihres Fachs. Joachim Milberg als BMW-Chef und Hasso Plattner als Gründer von SAP haben den Wirtschaftsstandort Deutschland entscheidend geprägt. Und was der Jury mindestens ebenso wichtig war: Beide haben mit einer Fülle von Ideen immer wieder Brücken gebaut – zwischen Wissenschaft und Forschung, Industrie und Politik. 

 

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