Start of a new laboratory
22. Jul 2008 — After an extended phase of planning the experimental setup, the delivery of two optical tables and a new air conditioning system on July 17, 2008 marked the kickoff for a new series of experiments in the group of Professor Zeilinger.
The lifting of more than 2.5 tons total weight to the third floor and the precise positioning of the optical tables laid the foundations for another modern laboratory in the historic building in Boltzmanngasse 3 now housing the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Zeilinger's team with the graduate students Maximilian Ebner and Michael Keller plans to focus on fundamental experiments on quantum statistics of atoms as emerging from Bose-Einstein condensates (BEC). Numerous similar experiments with photons have been successfully demonstrated in Professor Zeilinger's group before. BEC is ultracold atomic matter, just a millionth of a degree above the absolute zero point of temperature. By using Helium atoms in an excited state it will be possible to detect single atoms and thereby visualize non-classical
correlations in a most clear way.
The new laboratory is jointly operated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna. The work is made possible by a recent infrastructure grant of the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research to the University of Vienna and by startup support by the City of Vienna for IQOQI.
Pictures: free download for media issues, Copyright (to mention!): Jacqueline Godany
The bulky 1000 kg optical tables are lifted via lorry-mounted telescopic crane and carefully piloted through the third floor laboratory window.
All hands are needed to mount the optical tables in the pristine new BEC laboratory. Graduate students Michael Keller (second from right) and Maximilian Ebner (fifth from right) direct the process.