Department of Physics

A giant leap for quantum technologies at the TU Kaiserslautern

[Translate to English:] Professor Artur Widera (li.) und Professor Herwig Ott haben mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen des Fachbereichs Physik gleich drei Projekte in der Quantentechnolgie eingeworben. Foto: Koziel/TUK

Quantum physics is not only basic research: More and more technologies from the quantum world are finding their way into applications, such as novel computers, atomic sensors, or tap-proof communication. In this key area, the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (TUK) has decisively deepened its profile in research and teaching and successfully acquired large-scale projects on quantum technologies through three nationwide or European funding programs. The overall package includes the research project Rymax for the construction of a quantum computer, the establishment of a transnational Erasmus Mundus study program "Quantum Technologies and Engineering," as well as a part-time distance learning course in quantum technologies.

The Rymax project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education (BMBF) with 25 million euros for five years to develop a quantum processor for industrially relevant optimization problems. Of this amount, around seven million euros will go to TUK, where physicists Prof. Herwig Ott, Dr. Thomas Niederprüm, and Prof. Artur Widera are driving the project forward. In addition to TUK, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics (ITWM) in Kaiserslautern is also involved, as are researchers from the University of Hamburg and industrial partners from laser technology, optical technologies, electronics, software development, and logistics.

In addition, the European Commission is funding the implementation of the international Erasmus Mundus course on "Quantum Technology and Engineering," which is coordinated by the University of Dijon. In addition to the TUK, the universities of Aarhus and Moscow are also involved as study locations. For six years, more than five million euros will be available to enable talented students from all over the world - financed by scholarships - to study at least at two of the participating locations.

Finally, as part of the QuanTUK project, which is also funded by the BMBF, the departments of physics, mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering are designing an interdisciplinary and part-time master's degree course in "Quantum Technologies" in order to establish it as a distance learning course at the TUK's Distance and Independent Studies Center (DISC). To this end, the TUK will receive around two million euros for three years. An industry advisory board supports the project in order to align the courses with the needs of the industry. A subject didactic evaluation and optimization will ensure the quality of the teaching content.

"Each of these projects in itself is a great success for quantum technologies in the Department of Physics," says a delighted Ott, Dean of the Department of Physics, who is himself involved in all the projects. "In this combination, it reflects the research strength and teaching excellence that TUK has developed over the past decade in the field of quantum research." Widera, who leads the two projects on teaching, adds, "This will enable TUK to decisively expand its activities in the field of quantum research - both in terms of excellent international higher education and in terms of applied training and research."
Dr. Stefan Löhrke, TUK Vice President for Studies and Teaching, congratulates the physicists, especially concerning the new teaching offers: "With this success, we can prove ourselves as a first-class address in the field of quantum technologies in terms of in-service training. This will significantly increase the visibility of the TUK and attract talented young professionals to the Kaiserslautern knowledge region. This is also a milestone for the internationalization of our teaching."

Prof. Dr. Werner R. Thiel, TUK Vice President for Research and Technology, adds in conclusion: "The three projects demonstrate the comprehensive and deep expertise we have built up in quantum technologies in recent years. We benefit from existing structures such as the OPTIMAS - Optics and Materials Sciences - research center, which we established as a profile area at TUK as part of the state's research initiative and in which the three new projects are embedded."

The president of TUK, Prof. Dr. Arnd Poetzsch-Heffter, acknowledges the triple success concerning the overall strategy of TUK: "Especially in combination, the projects will advance our university and the research location as a whole enormously. On the one hand, their interdisciplinary breadth connects several of TUK's central strategic research fields; on the other hand, they strengthen collaboration at the site, here in particular with Fraunhofer ITWM and DFKI, and will enable new opportunities for our visibility in this highly topical field of research with the new study programs."

Answer questions:
Professor Dr. Herwig Ott
Department of Quantum Atom Optics
E-mail: ott[at]
Tel.: 0631 205-2817

Professor Dr. Artur Widera
Individual Quantum Systems
E-mail: widera[at]
Tel.: 0631 205-4130

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