Northwestern Events Calendar


CFP Colloquium: Rainer Kaltenbaek: Recent developments and next steps for the MAQRO mission proposal

When: Tuesday, May 17, 2022
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Central

Where: Technological Institute, F160, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Laura Nevins   (847) 467-6678

Group: Center for Fundamental Physics Colloquia

Category: Lectures & Meetings, Academic


Abstract: The MAQRO proposal for a medium-sized space mission aims to harness a deep-space environment to test the foundations of quantum physics using optically trapped test particles. If we achieve the necessary isolation of the test particles from detrimental effects like scatter-ing with residual gas particles or cosmic radiation, the proposed experiment could also prove sensitive for detecting impulses or accelerations imparted by relic dark matter particles. The sensor is based on using quantum optomechanics to cool the center-of-mass motion of optically trapped test particles, and to monitor their free evolution, their evolution in weak trapping potentials, or to use these test particles to prepare macroscopic superpositions to observe high-mass matter-wave interferometry. Over the last decade, significant progress has been achieved in the quantum control of optically trapped systems. In 2021, we proposed to speed-up the remaining technology development of MAQRO in a NASA research campaign, and we submitted a phase-I proposal of MAQRO to ESA’s recent call for medium-sized missions. In this talk, I will provide an overview of these recent developments. I will discuss updates to the instrument design, the possibility of addressing additional science goals, possible tests in microgravity and in orbit, and a potential roadmap to achieve the technological readiness of key components in time for a launch in the early 2040s.

Rainer Kaltenbaek, University of Ljubljana

*This talk will be on Zoom only, please contact Laura Nevins at for the Zoom link*


Host: Andrew Geraci

Keywords: CFP, Physics

Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in