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2.5 million euros for fundamental research

Annual Report 2021

Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt has received a 2.5 million euro ERC Advanced Grant from the EU for a five-year project that will seek to use optical clocks to shed light on some fundamental questions: Is our description of nature complete? What is dark matter? Do natural constants vary with time or location?

Theoretical predictions attest that optical clocks based on highly charged ions, which are controlled by quantum techniques and measured by laser spectroscopy, will have a sensitivity to “new physics” effects that is 20 times greater than that of previous clocks. The same quantum logic techniques are being used by the Quantum Valley Lower Saxony (QVLS) project to build a 50-qubit quantum computer.