Prof. Dr. Michèle Heurs

Professor of Experimental Physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover, group leader of the “Quantum Control” group at AEI Hannover

What is your current position at our institute?

Professor of Experimental Physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover, group leader of the “Quantum Control” group at AEI Hannover

What is your academic education?

  • Diploma in physics at Hannover University
  • PhD (Promotion) in physics at Hannover University

What were your previous academic positions?

  • PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (AEI Hannover)
  • PostDoc at University of New South Wales @ ADFA (Canberra, Australia)
  • Junior Professor at LUH
  • Professor at LUH since 2016

Can you please describe your research in general terms?

I work in the field of quantum optics, in particular in non-classical laser interferometry, quantum metrology, and quantum opto-mechanics. In my group we work on making (laser) light that is better than nature would like you to be able to have. It’s called „squeezed light“, and we use it for precision measurements. We exploit the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to reduce the noise in the measurement quantity we’re interested in, at the cost of increasing the noise in another (uninteresting one). This allows us to increase the precision of measurements to below the quantum level. Examples of such sensitive measurements are gravitational wave detection, where quantum noise already limits the measurement sensitivity over much of the detection band, but also applications in ultra-high precision spectroscopy, and quantum information, amongst others.

Please let us know why you chose the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics for your research.

The Institute for Gravitational Physics at Leibniz Universität Hannover (where I’m employed) and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics collaborate very closely here in Hannover. The scientific infrastructure is amazing: We currently have two topical Centres of Excellence (QuantumFrontiers and PhoenixD), in which we are heavily involved, as well as the new research building HITec with state-of-the-art labs. This provides a high-end research environment which is unique for gravitational physics research in Germany, and even world-wide — it’s a great place to work!

Webpage of Michèle Heurs' research group: http://quantumcontrol.aei.uni-hannover.de.

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