"Quantum tests of fundamental physics theories in micro-gravity and space ," by Naceur Gaaloul (Leibniz University Hannover)

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
AMO Seminars

AMO Seminar
Physics and Astronomy Building (PAB) Room 4-330
Friday, April 15, 2016
1:00 AM

Guest Speaker: Naceur Gaaloul (Leibniz University Hannover)

Talk Title: "Quantum tests of fundamental physics theories in micro-gravity and space"


Atom interferometry in microgravity promises a major leap in improving precision and accuracy of matter-wave sensors [1]. When taking advantage of the unique space environment, fundamental tests challenging the state-of-the-art can be performed using quantum gases systems.

In this talk, we report on our recent progress in devising atom interferometery experiments to test Einstein’s equivalence principle at the 10-15 level or better [2] and detecting gravitational waves with high accuracy. Satellite mission scenarios achieving these goals will be presented.

The use of cold atoms as a source for such sensors poses, however, intrinsic challenges mainly linked to the samples size and mixture dynamics in case of a dual-atomic test. Proposals to mitigate leading systematics in projects involving extensive interferometry times are discussed in this talk as well. Innovative methods of quantum engineering at lowest energy scales inspired from our droptower experiments and sounding rocket missions are therefore considered in this context [3-5].

The presented work is supported by the German Space Agency (DLR) with funds provided by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) due to an enactment of the German Bundestag under Grant No. DLR 50OY1303 and 50WM1552. We also acknowledge the support of the DFG Excellence Cluster QUEST, the QUEST-LFS and the SFB GeoQ.


  1.  N. Gaaloul, et al. Proceedings of the International School of Physics "Enrico Fermi"  Volume 188 (2014).
  2. D. N. Aguilera et al., Class. Quantum Grav. 31, 115010 (2014).
  3. T. van Zoest et al., Science 328, 1540 (2010).
  4. H. Müntinga et al., Phys. Rev. Lett110, 093602 (2013).
  5. J. Rudolph et al. New J. Phys. 17, 079601 (2015). 
Event Attachments: 
PAB 4-330