The purpose of this online-only workshop is to discuss the science opportunities offered by STE-QUEST, an initiative for a medium-sized satellite mission, whose Phase 1 proposal [0]  was submitted in response to the call for a Medium-size and a Fast mission opportunity in ESA's Science Programme [1].

STE-QUEST, with its dual-species atom interferometer operating over tens of seconds [2], will address some of the most fundamental and puzzling questions of physics as we know it today: Gravitation, dark-matter and the foundations of quantum mechanics. It will do so by making use of advanced quantum sensors for ultimate precision. Thereby it will not only lead to unprecedented advances in science at the interface between general relativity and quantum mechanics, but also pave the way for quantum technologies in space, be it in fundamental physics or Earth observation, time-keeping, or navigation. It is an integral part of the wider community roadmap for cold atoms in space, recently co-authored by over 250 scientists worldwide [3].

The main science objectives of STE-QUEST include tests of the equivalence principle, searches for different types of Ultra-Light Dark Matter (ULDM) and tests of the foundations of quantum mechanics using ultra-cold atoms in quantum superposition states. With a sensitivity to equivalence principle violation of about three orders of magnitude beyond the best existing result obtained by the MICROSCOPE space mission in 2017, the STE-QUEST mission will enter new unexplored territory for all its major science goals. It will offer the possibility of major discoveries and advance significantly our knowledge about the validity of our best current theories and models at the most fundamental level.

This event will build on the Community Workshop for Cold Atoms in Space [4] and bring together the cold atom, astrophysics, cosmology, fundamental physics, and Earth observation communities to discuss the outstanding science case and mission profile of STE-QUEST. The goal is to build a wider consortium supporting the STE-QUEST science case and the development of its mission concept. 

We encourage participation in this event by all interested scientists, industrial partners, and space agencies.

Workshop Organisers 

  • Angelo Bassi, Department of Physics, University of Trieste, and INFN - Trieste Section, Italy 
  • Kai Bongs, Midlands Ultracold Atom Research Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy University of Birmingham, United Kingdom 
  • Philippe Bouyer, LP2N, Universite Bordeaux, IOGS, CNRS, Talence, France 
  • Claus Braxmaier, Institute of Microelectronics, Ulm University and Institute of Quantum Technologies, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany 
  • Oliver Buchmueller, High Energy Physics Group, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom 
  • Maria Luisa (Marilu) Chiofalo, Physics Department ”Enrico Fermi” University of Pisa, and INFN-Pisa Italy 
  • John Ellis, Physics Department, King’s College London, United Kingdom 
  • Naceur Gaaloul, Institute of Quantum Optics, Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany 
  • Aurelien Hees, SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris-PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Universite, LNE, Paris, France 
  • Philippe Jetzer, Department of Physics, University of Zurich, Switzerland 
  • Steve Lecomte, Centre Suisse d’Electronique et de Microtechnique (CSEM), Neuchatel, Switzerland 
  • Gilles Metris, Universite Cote d’Azur, Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, CNRS, IRD, Geoazur, France 
  • Ernst M. Rasel, Institute of Quantum Optics, Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany 
  • Thilo Schuldt, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Quantum Technologies, Ulm Germany 
  • Carlos F. Sopuerta, Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), Spain 
  • Guglielmo M. Tino, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia and LENS, Universita di Firenze, INFN, CNR Italy 
  • Wolf von Klitzing, Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece 
  • Peter Wolf, LNE-SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris-PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Universite 61 Av. de l'Observatoire 75014 Paris France
  • Lisa Woerner, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Quantum Technologies, Ulm Germany 
  • Nan Yu, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA 
  • Martin Zelan, Measurement Science and Technology, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Boras, Sweden 

The workshop is co-organised in the frame of the Topical Group Cold Atoms in Space within the Cluster of Excellence Quantum Frontiers.









Registration for this event is currently open.