Quantenengineering as Trend-setting Basic Technology

Recent advances in the so-called field of quantum engineering, which describes the complete control over all degrees of freedom of light and matter unto the level of quanta, have virtually revolutionized the fields of quantum optics, nuclear and molecular physics as well as quantum physics. Thus, quantum engineering has become a key technology of modern physics. Additionally, this development opens up wholly new horizons in the field of metrology where precision and sensitivity are concerned. It allows, for example, an examination of fundamental physical laws, the measurement of space and time in a previously unknown accuracy or the establishment of ground-breaking quantum technologies with their manifold application areas, e.g. also in the field of global geodesy. 

In order to extrapolate the entire potential of this development for science, a center for transdisciplinary work is needed, in which scientists of the concerned fields of physics and geodesy work closely together with thematically involved partners from the field of engineering. The Leibniz Universität Hannover has the necessary competences to fully exploit the promising opportunities of the quantum technologies – from foundational research to innovative application areas and up to a transfer to the realm of industrial use. Naturally, in addition to such a competence center, a laboratory infrastructure is needed, which supports this synergic approach and particularly suffices the special requirements and framework conditions of this research area.

In view of these and further research objectives, the HITec research program can be structured into the following three areas:

  • Research of fundamental quantum physical phenomena and their manipulation (quantum technologies)
  • The development of suitable sensor concepts and technology platforms made possible through the above mentioned research (optical technologies)
  • Testing and fabrication of novel quantum sensors for laboratory use, terrestrial campaigns and space missions (development and application of quantum sensors)

In order to achieve these objectives, HITec largely relies on the already existing expertise of the Leibniz Universität and of the other involved partners – especially in the fields of quantum optics, nuclear optics, laser physics and geodesy – as well as the expertise, gathered within the framework of the Excellence Cluster QUEST. Thus, in Hannover, quantum physicists, laser experts, geodesists, researchers in the field of gravitational waves and relativity theorists work hand in hand in order to develop a measuring technology, which exceeds classical limitations – a national as well as in large parts international outstanding project.