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Gateway for scientists


Here you will find current news from PTB's diverse research activities as well as a short guide to PTB.


Noch ist der Wert des kleinen Platinzylinders in einem Safe im Pariser Vorort Sèvres unermesslich – sagt dieses Objekt doch der Welt seit mehr als hundert Jahren, was ein Kilogramm ist. Doch schon sehr bald wird sich sein Wert auf den reinen Kurswert von Platin reduzieren. Denn die Welt des präzisen Messens steht vor einem fundamentalen Wandel. Die physikalischen Einheiten wie das Kilogramm für die Masse oder das Kelvin für die Temperatur werden auf die stabilste nur denkbare Basis gestellt, indem sie sich in Zukunft auf Naturkonstanten beziehen werden. Der diesjährige Weltmetrologietag (wie immer am 20. Mai) will diesen Wandel ins öffentliche Bewusstsein rücken. Genau ein Jahr später, am Weltmetrologietag des Jahres 2019 soll dann das neue Einheitensystem in Kraft treten. Die Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), als nationales Metrologieinstitut Deutschlands die oberste Instanz bei allen Fragen rund ums Messen, ist mit...

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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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Contact with colleagues

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Are you seeking contact with PTB scientists? Then in the chapter Opens internal link in current windowStructure & Divisions you can look up who is working in a suitable field of activity.

Research topics

The SI with its 7 base units
In the new International System of Units (SI), seven fundamental constants are determined as defining reference values. (Diagram: PTB)

An overview of the diverse research landscape of PTB as well as some particularly highlighted topics (for example, PTB research surrounding the International System of Units SI) you will find in the chapter Opens internal link in current windowResearch & Development). In addition, it is always worthwhile to look at the Opens internal link in current windowmain Homepage as well as the homepages of the respective Opens internal link in current windowDivisions. How reputable PTB is among researchers you can see at Opens internal link in current windowPTB in the World of Research. Furthermore, PTB has been – specifically its R&D component, in particular – evaluated repeatedly with excellent results. You can download the respective documents (which are in German only) in the right column as a pdf file.

Scientific publications

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In the database Opens internal link in current windowPTB-Publica you can search for scientific publications by PTB staff members. Furthermore, some divisions maintain their own overview lists on the publications of their staff members. These you will find via the respective Opens internal link in current windowhomepages of the divisions.

Research collaborations

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The many collaborations of the individual PTB divisions you will find in the Annual Report under the column Opens internal link in current windowFrom the Divisions. International collaborations of PTB, e.g. with other metrology institutes within the framework of the European Metrology Research Programme EMRP/EMPIR, you will find at Opens internal link in current windowInternational Affairs. Some current EMRP dates you will find in the current issue of Opens internal link in current windowPTB-News.

What PTB offers doctoral candidates

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PTB's broad range of offers for students, doctoral candidates, and also extending beyond the doctorate degree you will find in the chapter Opens internal link in current windowAbout Us & Careers.