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TRIµP traps radium ions

02 October 2009

KVI researchers Versolato and Giri et al. are the first in the world to succeed in trapping radium ions and to perform precision spectroscopy on the trapped ions. The ions were studied with the light of three lasers simultaneously. For this experiment, short-lived radium isotopes were produced with the AGOR cyclotron and the TRIµP facility.

The measurements are of great importance for two planned experiments with a single trapped and laser-cooled radium ion. One of these experiments will focus on building a new atomic clock which is expected to be one thousand times more precise than the present clocks. The other experiment will focus on testing mirror symmetry (parity).

Mirror symmetry states that a process in nature, observed in a mirror, is just as likely as the process in the non-mirrored world. This looks normal, but in the Standard Model of particle physics this is not the case at all. The exact amount of violation is a sensitive test of the Standard Model. A deviation from the Standard Model would hint at the existence of new particles and thus new physics. The aim of this experiment is to observe the Z boson and to search for new particles (e.g. an even heavier Z boson), with more precision than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva .

Last modified:31 October 2016 11.50 a.m.
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