Physicist of the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz honored for groundbreaking work in the precision spectroscopy of atoms and molecules
21 October 2020
The American Physical Society (APS) awards its highly prestigious Norman F. Ramsey Prize to Mainz physicist Professor Dmitry Budker. Budker is Professor of Experimental Atomic Physics at the PRISMA+ Cluster of Excellence of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and section leader at the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM). He and his research group explore fundamental symmetries and interactions. One focus is the search for Dark Matter, concentrating on extremely light particles such as axions or axion-like particles as potential components of this ubiquitous but exotic form of matter. With his group, Budker is currently developing several experiments to search for these particles. All experiments are based on the fact that a stream of Dark Matter is constantly flowing, which influences the properties of ordinary matter in a very subtle way. Such influences could be demonstrated, for example, by means of atomic spectroscopy of cesium vapor or special techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), especially in ultra-low fields. In addition, Budker and co-workers are leading participants in the GNOME project, which aims to detect Dark Matter signals using a worldwide network of magnetometers. "This is a great recognition of our research and I am very proud of it," said Professor Dmitry Budker commenting on the Norman F. Ramsey Award. "I was particularly pleased to receive congratulations from numerous colleagues."
The Norman F. Ramsey Prize is intended to honor outstanding achievements in the two fields in which the eponym, Nobel Prize winner Norman F. Ramsey, excelled – in atomic, molecular, and optical spectroscopy as well as in precision testing of fundamental laws and symmetries. The prize is endowed with 10,000 US dollars and has been awarded annually since 2017. Budker is honored for "his seminal work studying complex atoms, testing fundamental symmetries of nature, measuring electromagnetic fields, searching for exotic interactions, probing the nature of dark matter, and measuring nuclear magnetic resonance in ultralow fields."