QuantumFrontiers Cluster of Excellence Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Silke Ospelkaus-Schwarzer receives ERC Consolidator Grant

Silke Ospelkaus-Schwarzer receives ERC Consolidator Grant

Million-euro funding for research on complex quantum systems at ultracold temperatures

The ERC grants of the European Research Council are among the most prestigious funding programs in Europe. Three funding lines award individual top researchers at different stages of their careers. Prof. Silke Ospelkaus-Schwarzer is receiving funding of up to 2 million euros this year for her TriTraMo project with the ERC Consolidator Grant to strengthen her own independent research group. With her research, Silke Ospelkaus-Schwarzer makes valuable contributions to the Cluster of Excellence QuantumFrontiers and the Collaborative Research Center DQ-mat.

With her group, she is researching one of the greatest challenges of modern atomic and molecular physics - the preparation and control of increasingly complex physical systems down to the quantum level. This control is mostly achieved by preparing physical systems at temperatures close to absolute zero. Based on the precise control of atomic systems, it was possible to prepare and control diatomic molecules at ultracold temperatures for the first time about ten years ago.

The goal of the funded project TriTraMo (Trimers, tetramers and molecular Bose-Einstein condensates) is to drive the next milestone on the path to increasingly complex quantum systems in the ultracold. By precision control of collisional processes of diatomic molecules, they are further cooled. If successful, a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate of molecules can be produced with which new quantum phases can be discovered and investigated due to the dipolar interaction between the molecules. Furthermore, collision processes and light are used to produce and control small polyatomic molecules - trimers and tetramers - from diatomic molecules in a controlled manner and to develop a detailed understanding of their properties. The system allows previously impossible insights into the structure of simple molecular systems.