"Harnessing atoms at their quantum limit" Atomic Quantum Sensors will be a key-technology for the ultra-precise monitoring of accelerations and rotations. These sensors evolved out of a new kind of optics based on matter waves rather than light waves. M atter wave optics is still a young, but rapidly progressing science, which recently generated sensational Nobel-prize awarded inventions such as laser cooling and atom lasers. FINAQS aims to explore and to progress the latest inventions in this field and will convert them into new types of high-precision atom interferometers. In three years FINAQS will design a new type of interferometer based on coherent and brilliant atomic sources as well as implement new atom optics concepts, particularly the first ultra cold-atom gravitymeter and quantum gyroscope. For this purposes FINAQS will join five European institutions, which are leading in this field, and lay the foundations for tight future co-operations. The potential of matter-wave optics for high-prec ision sensors can be compared with that of SQUID technology, but without need for cryogenic equipment, or with that of atomic force microscopy in nanoscience. The applications of atomic quantum sensors are truly interdisciplinary, covering diverse and im portant topics such as tests of fundamental physics, the realization of SI-units, prospecting for resources, GALILEO technology, environment monitoring and major earth-science themes.
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