Prof. Dr. Christophe Salomon, Paris

Prof. Dr. Christophe Salomon
Prof. Dr. Christophe Salomon


January 19, 15.30: Light matters


Laser cooled atoms on Earth and in Space

We will describe how recent progress in lasers and optics has enabled the development of ultra-stable atomic clocks and sensors. Clocks with laser cooled and trapped atoms display today an error that does not exceed one second over the age of the Universe. We will show how laboratory instruments have been transformed into space qualified equipment that will fly onboard the Earth orbiting International Space Station in the frame of the European ACES mission. Finally a few tests in fundamental physics with these high precision instruments will be discussed.

About Prof. Dr. Christophe Salomon, Research Director at CNRS Laboratoire Kastler Brossel Département de Physique de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris

After getting his degree form Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures de Paris in 1976, Christophe Salomon turned to research in quantum optics and laser spectroscopy. He joined CNRS in 1980 and obtained his PhD in 1984 at Paris 13 University (France) on high resolution laser spectroscopy in the infrared domain. For his post-doctoral stay he moved to JILA (USA), where he worked with 2005 Nobel laureate J. Hall on ultra-stable lasers and laser cooling of atoms. In 1985, he joined the laser cooling group just created by C. Cohen-Tannoudji (1997 Nobel laureate) and A. Aspect at Ecole Normale supérieure (Paris, France). Since then at ENS, Christophe Salomon worked on various developments and applications of laser cooled and trapped atoms, notably atomic fountain clocks, optical lattices, Bose-Einstein condensation, matter wave solitons, and ultracold Fermi gases. Since 2008, he is the head of the cold Fermi gas group at ENS and, since 1997, Principal Investigator for the ACES/PHARAO space clock Mission of the European Space agency ESA and French Space Agency, CNES. His current research interests range from superfluidity in quantum gases to high precision measurements and fundamental physics tests with ground and spaceborn clocks. Christophe Salomon is member of the French Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and member of the European and French physical societies, and chairman of the French metrology committee since 2010. Christophe Salomon has published over 180 papers and participated in several radio and TV interviews. For his research, he received several prizes and awards, including the Alexander von Humboldt prize, the INRIM memorial lecture Prize, the Louis D. prize of the Institut de France, two advanced Research Grant from the European Research Council, the Three physicists prize, the Mergier-Bourdeix Prize of the French Academy of Sciences, the European Time and Frequency Prize, the Philip-Morris Prize, and the Young Scientist prize of the French ministry of defence.