6. November 2023
Wolfgang Werns­dor­fer receives ERC Synergy Grant for DarkQuan­tum Project

Quantum Technolo­gies: A Deep Look into Dark Matter

Renowned physi­cist and Hector Fellow Wolfgang Werns­dor­fer from the Karlsruhe Insti­tute of Technol­ogy (KIT) has been honored for his ground­break­ing research in the field of quantum technolo­gies. He plays a signif­i­cant role in the inter­na­tional project "Quantum Technolo­gies for Axion Dark Matter Search," known as DarkQuan­tum, and has been awarded the ERC Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

DarkQuan­tum aims to exper­i­men­tally confirm the existence of axions, hypothet­i­cal elemen­tary parti­cles consid­ered promis­ing candi­dates for dark matter. The project combines quantum technolo­gies with parti­cle physics infra­struc­tures at CERN and DESY to detect axions in the galac­tic halo, i.e. in the outer Milky Way. Wolfgang Werns­dor­fer stated, "If the new strate­gies of the DarkQuan­tum project succeed in exper­i­men­tally proving the existence of axions, it would be a break­through in physics that would funda­men­tally influ­ence our under­stand­ing of reality."

The DarkQuan­tum project involves eight European univer­si­ties and research insti­tu­tions. The Univer­si­dad de Zaragoza in Zaragoza/Spain is acting as coordi­na­tor; the leading researchers come from there as well as from the Karlsruhe Insti­tute of Technol­ogy (KIT), the Centre national de la recherche scien­tifique (CNRS) in France and the Univer­sity of Aalto in Finland. The project is sched­uled to run for six years. The funding amounts to 12.9 million euros.