Yearbook 2015

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Molecules possess fascinating characteristics like a wealth of internal states, an exceptional interaction or interesting chemical properties. At extremely low temperatures, quantum effects dominate which opens perspectives for simulation of complex quantum systems or the production of new quantum phases of matter. To experimentally achieve these temperatures, new methods for trapping and cooling molecules and for manipulating their internal states have to be developed. more
Mesons are made of two quarks; they are highly unstable forms of matter, surviving for around a billionth of a second or less. Since 2014, researchers at the MPQ have used particle accelerators located at the Paul Scherrer Institute to synthesize artificial atoms that contain these mesons: here a pion and an electron orbit the nucleus of helium atoms. For the first time, the pion mass was determined by spectroscopy with infrared laser light with a very high precision. Likewise the mass of the antiproton relative to the mass of the electron was measured with high precision at CERN. more
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