The programme 'Broken mirrors and drifting constants', submitted at the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), has received a subsidy of M€ 2.9. The programme will be carried out by research groups of KVI and the VU University of Amsterdam (VUA). Programme leader will be Wim Ubachs of the Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics group of the VUA, the KVI-share in the programme will be led by KVI-Director Klaus Jungmann. The KVI-team will further consist of Ronnie Hoekstra, Steven Hoekstra and Lorenz Willmann, with support of the Theory group. The duration of the programme will be six years. During this period both KVI and VUA will be able to appoint four PhD students (OIO's) out of the programme budget.
The research focuses on ultra-precise measurements on atoms and molecules, where frequency comb lasers, ion traps, laser cooling of atoms, manipulation of molecules by electromagnetic fields, and atomic clocks are central. The aim is to test the fundamental physics beyond the 'Standard Model' of particle physics, among other things by measuring possible variations of fundamental 'constants' and demonstrating parity violation in atoms and molecules.
At the Laser Centre of the VUA a laser will be buuilt with an extremely narrow (1 Hz) bandwidth, that will be operated as the central unit for the precision measurements. A fiber-link will be established between the VUA and KVI to transfer ultrastable optical signals, allowing for comparison of the optical clocks at both sites. This fiber link will in future become part of a European fiber network for dissemination of stable optical signals, with applications in fundamental physics as well as in telecom technology.
> More information on website FOM (in Dutch)
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