QUEST Excellence Cluster gets underway

Research on the quantum limit begins

May 23, 2008

Today, on 23 May 2008, the Hannover QUEST Excellence Cluster (Center for Quantum Engineering and Space-Time Research), has officially started its work. In the four areas of quantum engineering, quantum sensors, space-time research and novel technologies, around 60 new scientists will be involved in the coming five years, in addition to the 190 already pursuing research on the quantum limit.

They will further refine already available quantum technologies, in order, for example, to

  • answer fundamental questions of physics - including those concerning the structure and the fundamental forces of our universe.
  • undertake application-oriented work and develop new knowledge, e.g. for next-generation satellite navigation systems or earth observation systems.

QUEST is, in the broadest sense, an interdisciplinary quantum workshop.

To this purpose, QUEST has created a new infrastructure and new work groups that strategically expand the existing research competence of the Institutes. For example, eight new professorships and more than ten junior research groups and other research groups will be established at Leibniz Universität Hannover and its partners by QUEST this year. The eight professorships, which were announced at the beginning of March, have attracted extremely high-calibre candidates from all over the world - a clear sign of the attractiveness of QUEST and the research landscape in and around Hannover.

QUEST was approved within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Government in October 2007 for a period of five years. With funding of 6.5 million Euros per year, it offers participating scientists outstanding conditions for creative and innovative research work.

“The Excellence Initiative has generated a tremendously positive impetus throughout the Lower Saxony community of higher education institutions. These institutions, which prevailed in three lines of funding among more than 300 applications, are among the top higher education institutions in Germany. The approval of the QUEST Excellence Cluster “Center for Quantum Engineering and Space Time Research” is a great distinction for the Department of Physics, as well as for the Leibniz Universität Hannover as a whole and we heartily congratulate all of those involved," said Minister of Science Lutz Stratmann.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ertmer, Coordinator of QUEST: “We have leading facilities in Hannover for carrying out research on individual atoms, atomic interferometers, atomic quantum sensors, lasers and atomic clocks, as well as facilities for astronomy with gravitational waves or for the observation of the earth and geodesy. The intensive cooperation between such diverse fields will decisively contribute to the resolution of many scientific issues.”

Prof. Dr. Karsten DanzmannDeputy Coordinator of QUEST: "The launch of QUEST is a very special moment for all of those involved, whose outstanding commitment is now being rewarded with excellent interdisciplinary research conditions. QUEST comes up well when compared to other internationally renowned scientific institutions."

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