Yearbook 2011

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A fundamental feature of quantum physics is the existence of superposition states. They are, e. g., created in a double slit experiment, where a particle passes through both slits of an interferometer at the same time to interfere with itself downstream. This spatially separated quantum superposition has been observed for particles ranging from electrons to complex molecules. But what happens for even more massive systems? The achievement of large superpositions of heavy objects should confront some conjectures that predict the breakdown of the quantum superposition principle at larger scales. more
Main topic of the Max Planck Research Group Ultrafast Quantum Optics, established in 2008 at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, is the control of free electrons with new methods. Recently the group succeeded in steering the emission of electrons from a metal nanotip by the application of ultrafast laser pulses. This is a first step towards the development of an attosecond field effect transistor. Using the technique of a "Paul trap" the group was able to capture free electrons by microwaves, and guide them along electrodes on planar substrates. more
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