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670. WE-Heraeus-Seminar


Dear colleagues, we would like to cordially welcome you to the 670th Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Seminar "Fundamental Constants: Basic Physics and Units" which will be held from May 13th, 2018 to May 18th, 2018 at Physikzentrum Bad Honnef near Bonn in Germany. This seminar is generously funded by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation.

The goal of the seminar is to bring together experts who share their interest in physics of fundamental constants. During the workshop we will consider the questions of a definition of fundamental constants, relation of these constants with physical laws, and of their minimal set. Together with discussion of basic ideas and theories, emphasis will be also placed on the high-precision experiments aiming determination of the fundamental constants. The impact of this experimental data for metrology applications as well as for our understanding of Nature will be also in the focus of discussions.

Topics covered in the seminar include the following questions:

  • What are fundamental constants? How many of those do we need?
  • Are fundamental constants varying in space and time?
  • What are current best values of fundamental constants? How are they measured?
  • How we can use future atomic and nuclear clocks to re-define the second?
  • How violations of symmetries of Nature are related to the variation of fundamental constants?
  • What are new data about the proton radius and how do they impact the values of fundamental constants?

The ceremony for awarding the prestigious Helmholtz Prize in 2018 will be part of the Heraeus-Seminar. It is dedicated for outstanding scientific achievements in the field of "Precision Measurements in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine". Established in 1973, this prize is considered as the most prestigious one in the field of precision measurements and, since 2015, comes in two categories namely "fundamental principles" and "applications".

The conference language will be English. Please note that the total number of participants is limited. The organizers invite PhD students to apply and to contribute to the poster session. Female researchers are particularly encouraged, since the WE-Heraeus Foundation seeks to support women in science.


The seminar will take place at


Physikzentrum Bad Honnef

Hauptstr. 5

53604 Bad Honnef


The Physikzentrum is run by the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e.V. (German Physical Society) and supported by the University of Bonn and the state North Rhine-Westphalia.

The stately mansion housing the Physikzentrum is surrounded by a park at the foot of the Siebengebirge ("the Seven Hills") on the right bank of the Rhine River. In the immediate neighbourhood an extensive net of hiking-paths in Germany's oldest nature preserve invites pleasant short or long walks.

Physikzentrum Bad Honnef can be easily reached both by car and by public transport. To plan your journey, please, follow the link: Opens external link in new windowhttp://www.dpg-physik.de/

Invited speakers


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Joachim Ullrich

PTB, Braunschweig

Linking the international system of units to fundamental constants


Monday, May 14, 2018

Jean-Philippe Uzan

CNRS/Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris

Fundamental constants, gravitation and cosmology - recent developments

Christof Wetterich

University of Heidelberg

Are fundamental constants constant?

Yurii Dumin

Moscow State University

Is the cosmological Lambda-term a new fundamental constant?

Vincenzo Salzano

University of Szczecin

Measuring the speed of light with cosmological observations

Marianna Safronova

University of Delaware

The search for variation of fundamental constants with atomic systems

Ekkehard Peik

PTB, Braunschweig

Search for variations of the fine structure constant with atomic clocks

Mikhail Kozlov

Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute

Time variation of fundamental constants: Searches via microwave and infrared spectroscopy in space

Wim Ubachs

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Physics beyond the Standard Model from hydrogen molecules


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Jun Ye

JILA/NIST/University of Colorado

Optical atomic clock based on quantum matter

Hidetoshi Katori

University of Tokyo

Connecting optical lattice clocks at 10-18 uncertainty

David Hume


Precision measurements with trapped-ion optical clocks at NIST

Gesine Grosche

PTB, Braunschweig

Frequency comparison and dissemination via interferometric optical fibre links

Peter Thirolf

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Towards a test bench for time variation of fundamental constants: What do we know about the elusive 229Th isomer?

Robert Alexander Müller

PTB, Braunschweig

Hyperfine structure of doubly charged 229Th and the excitation of its nuclear clock isomer

Andrey Volotka

Helmholtz Institute Jena

Nuclear excitation in the two-photon decay of highly charged ions

Rima Schüssler

Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg

High-precision mass measurements with PENTATRAP


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Stefan Ulmer


High-precision comparisons of the fundamental properties of protons and antiprotons at BASE

Stefan Eriksson

Swansea University

Spectroscopy of antihydrogen in the ALPHA experiment

Masaki Hori

Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik

Antiproton-to-electron mass ratio determined by laser spectroscopy of antiprotonic helium

Tanya Zelevinsky

Columbia University

Precision spectroscopy and EDMs with cold molecules

Terry Quinn


From artefacts to atoms - from the old to the new SI


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Barry Wood

National Research Council of Canada

Final measurements of the Planck constant

Holger Mueller

UC Berkeley

Measurement of the fine structure constant as test of the standard model

Vladimir Yerokhin

St. Petersburg PolytechnicUniversity

QED theory of the Lamb shift of hydrogen and hydrogen-like ions for Rydberg constant and proton radius

Sven Sturm

Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg

The magnetic moment of highly charged ions: Test of strong field QED and access to fundamental constants

Klaus von Klitzing

Max-Planck-Institut für Festkörperforschung

Quantum Hall effect and fundamental constants


 Friday, May 18, 2018

Randolf Pohl

Universität Mainz

Laser spectroscopy of muonic atoms - Nuclear physics and fundamental constants

Francois Nez

Laboratoire Kastler Brossel -CNRS

Hydrogen 1S-3S spectroscopy with a cw laser

Natalia Oreshkina

Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg

Hyperfine splitting in simple ions for the search of the variation of fundamental constants

José Crespo López-Urrutia

Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg

Highly charged ions for fundamental studies


List of speakers in Initiates file downloadPDF format


The seminar will start on Sunday (May 13th, 2017) with a welcome evening lecture and will end on Friday (May 18th, 2018) at lunch time. We schedule 30 talks each 35 minute long plus 10 minutes for discussion. Out of these, 24 contributions are invited talks, and 6 are “hot topic” contributions which will be selected from submitted abstracts. In addition, the Helmholtz-Prize award ceremony, the welcome lecture, the after dinner talk, two poster sessions and special evening discussion session will take place during the seminar.

PDF: Initiates file downloadFinal program

Organizing Committee

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Andrey Surzhykov from PTB.




  Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum

  Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik

  Saupfercheckweg 1

  69117 Heidelberg, Germany

  Email: Opens window for sending emailklaus.blaum(at)mpi-hd.mpg.de

  Tel.: +49 6221-516 850/1

  Prof. Dr. Dmitry Budker

  Helmholtz Institute Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg University,  

  55099 Mainz, Germany

  and: Department of Physics, University of California,

  Berkeley, CA 94530-7300, USA

  Email: Opens window for sending emailbudker(at)uni-mainz.de

  Tel.: +49 6131-39-27414

  Prof. Dr. Andrey Surzhykov

  Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

  Bundesallee 100

  38116 Braunschweig, Germany

  Email: Opens window for sending emailandrey.surzhykov(at)ptb.de

  Tel.: +49 531 592-8100


The application is closed.

Note of Thanks

The seminar is generously funded by the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus-Foundation, a private German institution which supports scientific research and education with emphasis on physics.

The funding covers local expenses for accomodation and meals for all participants at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef. No conference fee will be charged.

more about:Opens external link in new window Wilhelm und Else Heraeus-Stiftung (German)