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State Research Center OPTIMAS

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New collaborative research center under the aegis of OPTIMAS

Open quantum systems as basis for new technologies – further push for top research in quantum physics

With a total of 9.4 million euros the collaborative research center "OSCAR - Open System Control of Atomic and Photonic Matter" will be funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) from July 2016 on. Within OSCAR, Kaiserslautern physicists, together with colleagues from the University of Bonn, will explore the new physics of open quantum systems in model systems such as atoms, ultra-cold quantum gases and photons.

In the first four-year funding period, the collaborative research center is coordinated by the University of Bonn. Hereafter, a transfer of the coordination to Kaiserslautern is planned. OSCAR is the fifth collaborative research center in which the Kaiserslautern physics department is involved. With OSCAR the research on quantum physics will thus be further substantially strengthened. OSCAR is embedded in the State Research Center "OPTIMAS" and was only made possible by this funding of the State Rhineland-Palatinate.

OSCAR combines the collaborative efforts of theoretical and experimental groups with complementary expertise in few- and many-body physics, photonics and ultra-cold atom physics. OSCAR’s goal is to explore the novel physics of open systems, i.e. the physics resulting from time-dependent drive and coupling to tailored reservoirs across different experimental platforms. This comprises the generation of otherwise unreachable quantum states, their protection, and the control of dynamical and transport processes. The researchers aim to understand the underlying mechanisms of open systems and to exploit them as new tools for quantum control. To this end, they will also combine open-system control and topological protection.

The physical realizations of choice are atoms and photons for which the technology of manipulation and detection are most advanced and microscopic control and understanding of system and environment is possible. Open-system control is a versatile concept and the researchers expect that their insights will open up new avenues for applications in technology and new device functionalities. Further information can be found here (press release by DFG) and here (press release by TU Kaiserslautern, in German).