HITec Celebrates Opening

One-of-a-kind research centre has been put into operation.

The HITec (Hannover Institute of Technology) is a one-of-a-kind interdisciplinary research centre at Leibniz University Hannover. After a construction phase of two years, the centre was officially opened Friday 6 July 2018 in the presence of Minister for Science and Culture Björn Thümler and President of Leibniz University Hannover Prof. Dr. Volker Epping. Simultaneously, Prof. Dr. Joachim Ullrich, President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Leibniz University Hannover.

"The DFG Funding Atlas lists Leibniz University Hannover as the university with the highest DFG grants in the research area Optics and Quantum Optics. Top-level research needs excellent researchers, as well as suitable facilities. Therefore, I am pleased that the HITech building implements an interdisciplinary campus in the collaborative area of physics and geodesy", stated Prof. Dr. Epping, President of Leibniz University Hannover, on the occasion of the opening.

"The HITec is a world-class research building. The new laboratories are perfectly equipped for precision experiments. The large-scale research devices are one-of-a-kind. The free-fall simulator Einstein-Elevator is "Made in Hannover"! With the help of a unique drive concept for this facility, experiments can be conducted under zero-gravity conditions for a period of four seconds - 100 times a day and as a result much more frequently than other free-fall simulators", said State Minister Thümler in his opening speech.

About the Hannover Institute of Technology (HITec)

The Hannover Institute of Technology will bring together three research fields from the disciplines of physics and geodesy under one roof.

  • Quantum Technologies: Research on fundamental quantum physical phenomena and their manipulation
  • Optical Technologies: The development of suitable sensor concepts and technology platforms made possible through new quantum technologies
  • Development and Application of Quantum Sensors: Testing and manufacture of new quantum sensors for laboratory use, terrestrial campaigns and space missions

All three research areas are closely linked with the key topics of the two proposed excellence clusters: QuantumFrontiers (Light and Matter at the Quantum Frontier: Foundations of and Applications in Metrology) and PhoenixD (Photonics, Optics and Engineering Innovation - Across Disciplines).

Moreover, the new research building offers a unique infrastructure for more than 100 researchers. In addition to laboratories designed for precision experiments at quantum level, three large-scale devices will be used for research. Each of them is unique and will facilitate top-level international research in Hannover. Among them is the Einstein-Elevator, a 40-metre free-fall simulator. It was developed and constructed in Hannover and enables experiments under zero-gravity conditions for a period of four seconds. Furthermore, there is a device for the development and fabrication of optical fibres that can be employed as fibre lasers in space or in fibre optic applications. The third device is an atomic fountain (Very Large Baseline Atom Interferometer, VLBAI), which enables research into and development of high-precision measuring procedures based on matter waves.

Press release from 07/06/2018