MPQ (Garching, Germany)

The main research areas at MPQ are: quantum information; quantum physics of laser-cooled ultra-cold atoms and molecules; interaction of radiation with single atoms in cavities; attosecond physics; interaction of ultra-intense laser pulses with matter; precision spectroscopy applied to hydrogen atom and single trapped ions.
Research highlights

Max-Planck-Institute for Quantum Optics,
Garching, Germany


Prof. Dr. Ferenc Krausz
Dr. Thomas Nubbemeyer

High-power Thin-disk laser system for direct femtosecond pulse amplification

Experiments performed by the attosecond metrology team at MPQ have demonstrated amplification of 15 fs laser pulses in the Mid-IR wavelength range (2.1 µm) by employing a hybrid phase-matching scheme for optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA).

By using a combination of two BBO crystals placed in close vicinity with type-I and type-II phase-matching, a simplfied and compact amplification setup was implemented, providing a more robust and reliable laser source for many projects in the attosecond physics group, spanning from waveform synthesizer to 2D-imaging of electric fields.

Reference: Optica 7, 1093 (2020)


Hänsch Group_Scattered red laser light that shines through a polarizing beam splitter cube as part of a 626nm laser system

At our institute we explore the interaction of light and quantum systems, exploiting the two extreme regimes of the wave-particle duality of light and matter. On the one hand we handle light at the single photon level where wave-interference phenomena differ from those of intense light beams. On the other hand, when cooling ensembles of massive particles down to extremely low temperatures we suddenly observe phenomena that go back to their wave-like nature. Furthermore, when dealing with ultrashort and highly intense light pulses comprising trillions of photons we can completely neglect the particle properties of light. We take advantage of the large force that the rapidly oscillating electromagnetic field exerts on electrons to steer their motion within molecules or accelerate them to relativistic energies.Attosecond beamline and experimental target chambers

The various scientific topics can be assigned to the following research areas:

  • Quantum matter at extremely low temperatures
  • Fundamentals of Quantum Optics
  • Attosecond and High-Field Physics: Experiments at extremely short time scales
  • Experiments with single photons and individual atoms
  • High-precision spectroscopy of hydrogen and hydrogen-like atoms

Other information

Bloch Group - Experimental setup for frequency doubling of infrared light, which is then used to trap atoms in a bichromatic

High-temperature superconductors

"The anomalous metallic phases of high-temperature superconductors are one of the greatest puzzles in condensed matter physics. We recently observed how such metallic systems transform at the single-particle level from the anomalous regime into a normal Fermi liquid by increasing the doping level. Our measurements were performed on a quantum simulator, which realizes synthetic Fermi-Hubbard systems by controlling lithium atoms in optical lattices at temperatures around the superexchange energy."


Distributed Quantum Computing

"Researchers of the MPQ have demonstrated a quantum gate between qubits modules in two different laboratories that are connected with a 60-m-long optical fiber. For this they use a single photon that is first reflected from both modules and then detected as a herald of a successful gate operation, triggering a final qubit rotation. Such a non-local gate is an important step toward modular and distributed quantum computers."


Analog Quantum Simulation

 “Theoreticians at MPQ have developed a first proposal for the simulation of Quantum Chemistry problems with an analog quantum computer. Cold atoms in optical lattices emulate the electrons of a molecule, where the Coulomb interaction is mediated by a different atomic species.”