With the start of the Senior Research Professorship in 2007, the Bergmann-group has redirected its research activities. In the 1980s the focus of research activities was on crossed molecular beam scattering with innovative methods of laser state selection, i.e. the work was rooted in chemical physics. In the 1990s quantum optics problems, in particular the development and experimental exploration of STIRAP and some variants of it, using cw and pulsed lasers, were dominant.
Stimulated by the successful cooperation with IBM-storage systems (1997 – 2004), as well as with a research unit at Bosch (2004 – 2007), on problems related to laser-based high precision measurements, former research activities of the Bergmann-group employing laser systems with cavity-internal frequency shift was revived. That work from the 1990s was initially motivated by interest in fundamental problems. However, it was later recognized that such a laser could be made the heart of an entirely new laser ranging concept.
The initial efforts towards the development of a new ranging concept based on frequency-shifted feedback lasers were funded by the “Stiftung Rheinland-Pfalz für Innovation”. The project is funded by the BMBF as part of a “Verbundprojekt” with three industrial partners. Phase 1 of this project has been successfully completed. Phase 2 of the project (3 years) is expected to start in the fall of 2014.