Institute of Quantum Optics

Profile of the Institute of Quantum Optics

The Institute for Quantum Optics at Leibniz Universität Hannover focuses on fundamental and application-oriented research in the field of laser physics and the interaction of laser light with matter. Thematically, the work ranges from the coldest matter produced so far (Bose-Einstein condensation) to the hottest plasmas achievable by laser radiation with the shortest laser pulses on femto- and attosecond time scales. A wide variety of systems are studied: from individual ultracold atoms to molecules to living biological systems. The research extends to quantum information processing and satellite-based research of phenomena of general relativity. "How can we improve lasers?", "Where can we use laser light?" Or "What can I learn from the interaction of laser light with matter?" are some of the central questions that are being studied. Complementary to the basic research, application aspects are always in the focus of interest. New imaging methods for tissue and technical surfaces are being worked on. Research is being carried out how atomic clocks and atomic inertial sensors with unprecedented accuracy can be built, how atom-molecule reactions (chemical processes) can be controlled using new methods of atom and molecule manipulation, how laser surgery will make glasses obsolete in the future or how even individual cells can be manipulated extremely gently; In the long term, it is aimed for the building of a quantum computer using individual atoms or to achieve lasers with ever shorter wavelengths, including X-ray lasers.

The research of the Institute of Quantum Optics takes place in established local, national and international collaborations. The institute has established collaborations with the Laser Center Hanover (LZH), other faculties at Leibniz University Hanover, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig, NIFE (Lower Saxony Center for Biomedical Technology, Implant Research and Development), the DLR-SI (Institute for Satellite Geodesy and Intertial Sensors) as well as with other nationally and internationally leading universities and research institutions. Particularly important are the collaborations within the framework of the QUEST Leibniz Research School and the Cluster of Excellence PhoenixD: "Photonics, Optics, Engineering and Innovation across Disciplines", QuantumFrontiers: "Light and matter at the quantum limit", and Hearing4all: "Models, technology and solutions for diagnostics, restoration and support of hearing” as well as many national and multinational projects funded by the German Research Foundation, federal and state ministries, the EU Commission or the ESA. The institute contributes significantly to the quantum technology network QVLS "Quantum Valley Lower Saxony". The international exchange of knowledge and scientists is very important. After completing a master's degree or doctoral thesis, IQ graduates find interesting career prospects in global research and / or in research-related industry.

Teaching offered by the Institute of Quantum Optics includes introductory seminars, basic experimental physics lectures (experimental physics I-IV) and advanced lectures within the bachelor's degree such as Atomic and Molecular Physics and Coherent Optics. The lectures and seminars are aimed at undergraduate students in physics, mathematics, computer science and meteorology as well as students enrolled in teacher training courses. Advanced lectures and seminars directly related to research (photonics, atomic optics, quantum optics, optical layers, etc.) are offered for master’s students. All groups of the institute offer demanding theses on current research topics for both Bachelor and Master students in physics and the teacher training courses. Great emphasis is placed on intensive and committed support. Dissertation projects are mostly integrated into national and multinational third-party funded projects. A large part of the doctoral students are also involved in a structured doctoral training program funded by the German Research Foundation, the EU or the State of Lower Saxony. In addition to training in the laboratory, research-related lectures and seminars as well as job-oriented seminars are offered.