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Why quantum interference with molecules?

Since the turn of the last century matter-wave interference experiments have been an important pillar of quantum physics from where many technical applications emerged.

The Quantum-Nano-Physics (QNP) research group at the University of Vienna has been studying the quantum nature of especially large, complex molecules and nanoparticles for several years.

We are particularly interested in the following open questions:

Foundations of quantum physics:

  1. Up to which mass is delocalisation of matter and quantum interference verifiable?
  2. Can we realise quantum interference for biological objects, such as proteins or DNA-strands?
  3. What is the role of decoherence – or why does our every day life appear so normal to us?
  4. Can we test alternative models to quantum physics in experiments? Can such information help us to better understand the connection between quantum physics and gravity?

Applications of quantum interference:

  1. How can we use quantum interference experiments to learn more about molecular physics? For example measuring the electrical, optical or magnetic properties of molecules more precisely than ever before?
  2. How can we use quantum interference to precisely study external force fields?

With these and other molecules we have already observed quantum interference: