Helmholtz Institute Mainz
11th Feb 2019

Dear partners and colleagues,

we proudly present the first edition of the Helmholtz-Institute-Mainz electronic Newsletter!
From now on we will provide an insight into HIM on a regular basis (two or three times a year) to keep you updated on our projects and research.

The Helmholtz Institute for Structure, Symmetry and Stability of Matter and Antimatter was founded in June 2009 as the first Helmholtz Institute ever. It was created jointly by the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research and Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. Today, 9 years after its foundation, HIM is an active and fast growing place of exiting research.
We invite you to discover our latest news below.

We would be delighted if you would share this first HIMsight with friends and colleagues so that we can quickly extend our audience.
By the way, if you are not interested in regular news, please click on the sign-off-link at the bottom of this letter.

With best regards from Mainz

Prof. Kurt Aulenbacher - Director
Signature Prof. Kurt Aulenbacher - Director
About HIM
Activity Report 2017 & 2018
Activity Report 2017 & 2018

We composed a short overview of HIM's activities over the past two years.
Please browse our activities, publications, guests, awards and many more.

You may download the report in a PDF-version here or you can find it on the website.

Explore HIM online
Explore HIM online

This first Newsletter is part of our new HIM-Website. Bright photos, understandable texts and an extra-section “Simply-HIM” for non-physicists give a vivid overview on HIM-research, people and experiments: www.hi-mainz.de
By and by, the six HIM-research sections will complement the website with their latest activities. Thus, it is worth browsing the HIM-Website from time to time.
You can also keep yourself up-to-date by following the HIM Facebook-page: https://www.facebook.com/HIMPhysik/


Probing nobelium with laser light
Probing nobelium with laser light

Successful laser spectroscopy measurements reveal size and shape of the nucleus of element 102

Sizes and shapes of nuclei with more than 100 protons were so far experimentally inaccessible. Laser spectroscopy is an established technique in measuring fundamental properties of exotic atoms and their nuclei. For the first time, this technique was now extended to precisely measure the optical excitation of atomic levels in the atomic shell of three isotopes of the heavy element nobelium, which contain 102 protons in their nuclei and do not occur naturally. This was reported by an international team lead by scientists from GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung. Nuclei of heavy elements can be produced at minute quantities of a few atoms per second in fusion reactions using powerful particle accelerators. The obtained results are well described by nuclear models, which suggest the nuclei to have a bubble-like structure with lower density in their center than at their surface. The results were published in a recent article in Physical Review Letters.


HIM involved in European Flagship on Quantum Technologies: Full steam ahead to the quantum web
HIM involved in European Flagship on Quantum Technologies: Full steam ahead to the quantum web

EU announces first funding for Quantum Flagship program to develop quantum technology.

Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and HIM are partners in two projects on quantum computers and quantum metrology.
The European Union has launched a Flagship on Quantum Technologies to promote research into and development of quantum technology throughout Europe.  Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is involved in two of these projects and will receive funding of about EUR 1.4 million.
Professor Ferdinand Schmidt-Kaler's group is embedded in the QUANTUM – Quantum, Atomic, and Neutron Physics – research at the Institute of Physics at JGU and is involved in the construction of a quantum computer based on trapped ion crystals.
Professor Dmitry Budker's team MAM at HIM, also part of QUANTUM at the JGU Institute of Physics, is contributing to another Flagship project, which aims to establish quantum metrology techniques based on nitrogen vacancy centers in ultrapure diamonds!

ERC-Consolidator Grant at HIM: Laser Resonance Chromatography of Superheavy Metals
ERC-Consolidator Grant at HIM: Laser Resonance Chromatography of Superheavy Metals

Mustapha Laatiaoui receives ERC Consolidator Grant for superheavy element research:
EU grant worth EUR 2 million for the development of a new approach in optical spectroscopy

HIM-Physicist Dr. Mustapha Laatiaoui will be receiving a Consolidator Grant of EUR 2 million from the European Research Council (ERC) to support his research in the field of atomic and nuclear physics. He will be using the EU funds to develop a novel approach for optical spectroscopy of the superheavy elements. This will make it possible to obtain information about these elements that has so far been completely inaccessible. The Consolidator Grant is one of the most richly endowed ERC funding awards.

There is very little information on superheavy elements, because they are difficult to produce, observe, and analyze. The heaviest element that can be obtained in macroscopic amounts is fermium of the atomic number 100, which means that fermium has 100 protons in its atomic nucleus. At present, elements heavier than fermium can only be synthesized in single-atom-at-a-time quantities utilizing large accelerator facilities. In addition, they are radioactive and rapidly decay, often within split seconds, which gives only little time to investigate them. However, it would be of particular interest to physicists from various fields to know more about these super-heavyweights to better understand their structure and why they exist. Such insights would be useful, for example, when it comes to searching for traces of even heavier elements, which might be created, for example, in neutron-star merger events.

May, 19. - 24. 2019

International Conference (Merger of the Poznan Meeting on Lasers and Trapping Devices in Atomic and Nuclei Research and the International Conference on Laser Probing)

Helmholtz Institute Mainz

10 years of HIM
June, 13. & 14.

Helmholtz Institute Mainz

Formal Reception (June 13) and Open Doors (June 14)

Program tba

WOPM, International Workshop on Optcal Pumping Magnetometers
August 14.-16. 2019

Helmholtz Institute Mainz
Information soon be available on

TAN 19: Transactinides-Conference
August, 25.-30. 2019

The TAN 19 is the sixth in the series of international conferences dedicated to recent achievements and developments in experiments and theory of the chemistry and physics of transactinide elements.

The TAN 19 is organized by HIM, GSI & JGU Maiz and will take place in Wilhelmshaven, August, 25.-30.!



JOB Offer at HIM/ GSI: Wissenschaftliche/n Mitarbeiter/in (Postdoc) für experimentelle Atom-/Kernphysik


GSIGutenberg Universität

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Helmholtz-Institut Mainz, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, D-55099 Mainz, Germany

Das Helmholtz-Institut Mainz (HIM) wird dauerhaft von einer Außenstelle des GSI Helmholtzzentrums für Schwerionenforschung und Kooperationsgruppen der Institute für Kernphysik, für Physik und für Kernchemie der Universität Mainz gebildet. Die Universität Mainz ist eine Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts. Das GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung ist eine GmbH, deren Geschäftsführer sind Prof. Dr. Paolo Giubellino, Ursula Weyrich, Jörg Blaurock, Vorsitzender des Aufsichtsrates ist Ministerialdirigent Dr. Volkmar Dietz.

Das Institut wird vertreten durch den Direktor Prof. Kurt Aulenbacher

E-Mail: him@uni-mainz.de  - Internet: https://www.hi-mainz.de

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