Quantum logic spectroscopy of heavy highly charged ions
Highly accurate and precise laser spectroscopy has long been established for neutral and singly charged atoms. The most accurate of these measurements are realized with optical atomic clocks. In heavy highly charged ions (HCI) only a few electrons are bound and are exposed to the most extreme electromagnetic fields on earth. Therefore, heavy HCI feature favorable properties for novel optical atomic clocks that can be used as detectors for unknown physics. However, traditional laser cooling and state detection techniques cannot be applied – a problem that can be solved with an enabling technology that is known as quantum logic spectroscopy (QLS). Based on this, we are setting up a new ion trap experiment at the worldwide unique facility HITRAP of the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt. There, we have access to heavy HCI, produced by an accelerator, decelerated, and captured in our ion trap. In combination with QLS, it enables us to perform precision laser spectroscopy and frequency metrology on these exotic systems to test fundamental physics and search for unknown physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics.