QuantumFrontiers Research Research Highlights
Testing space-time symmetry in atoms with world-record accuracy

Testing space-time symmetry in atoms with world-record accuracy

Schematic representation of the measurement principle to test Lorentz invariance. Oriented atomic orbitals are compared as the Earth rotates.

In the scope of the QuantumFrontiers Cluster of Excellence, scientists have set improved bounds on a potential violation of Lorentz symmetry from a single trapped Yb+ ion

In attempts to unify all fundamental forces in a single quantum consistent theory, it has been suggested that Lorentz invariance is violated. Researchers at the QUEST institute at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have investigated this principle in a single trapped Yb+ ion with world-record sensitivity. Using a highly robust radio-frequency (rf) composite pulse sequence, Ramsey spectroscopy on spatially oriented atomic orbitals was realized with a second-long interrogation time. A five-week long measurement campaign revealed no significant effect stemming from Lorentz violation, but new bounds could be set at unprecedented levels of accuracy. A further improvement in sensitivity can be made in the future by scaling to multiple ions in a Coulomb crystal. The results were presented in Nature Communications.

Read the complete news on the website of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Original publication:
Laura S. Dreissen, Chih-Han Yeh, Henning A. Fürst, Kai C. Grensemann, Tanja E. Mehlstäubler
Improved bounds on Lorentz violation from composite pulse Ramsey spectroscopy in a trapped ion
Nature Communications 13, 7314 (2022)