Experiments with stored and cooled ions (MATS)

Group for Young Researchers

Department of Physics
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

MATS (Measurements with with an Advanced Trapping System) is a young researcher group funded by the Impuls- und Vernetzungsfonds of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HGF). The research subjects are precision experiments with stored and cooled ions based on modern techniques for storage and cooling of charged particles. Primarily Penning traps are used for the three dimensional confinement of the ions. The group of young researchers MATS serves as a link between the University of Mainz and the atomic physics group at GSI, where such experiments are performed with outstanding experience. At GSI, the Experimental Storage Ring (ESR) and the ion trap facility SHIPTRAP are used for the investigation of stored and cooled radionuclides. Furthermore, the ion trap experiment ISOLTRAP at the online mass-separator ISOLDE/CERN in Geneva, Switzerland is run by the atomic physics group. In the near future the ion trap facility HITRAP, which is designed for capturing and cooling of highly charged ions produced at the GSI-accelerator complex, will come into operation.

Main research subjects of the working group are the precise determination of atomic masses and of magnetic moments (g-factors). Technical developments in the context of this experiments yield significant improvements in the achieved uncertainties and thus allow stringent tests of quantum electrodynamics and the Standard Model.

Current experiments of the working group MATS:

  1. Determination of the g-factor of the proton and its antiparticle, the antiproton, in order to perform a stringent test of the CPT theorem (g-factor proton).
  2. Determination of the g-factor of the bound electron in hydrogen-like calcium. This work is an important step in the chain of increasing nuclear charge towards the final goal to measure the g-factor of hydrogen-like uranium in the HITRAP project (g-factor Ca).
  3. Precision mass spectrometry with the Penning trap mass spectrometer SHIPTRAP/GSI and ISOLTRAP at ISOLDE/CERN. Here, especially a sensitive non-destructive single ion detection scheme by the FT-ICR technique will be developed and installed.
  4. Future Project MATS within NUSTAR at the GSI future facility FAIR. The development of an innovative Penning trap system allows to perform high precision mass measurements and decay spectroscopy on highly-charged, short-lived radionuclides.


For further information on our work and open positions please visit our MATS web page.