Research Expertise and Interest

atomic, molecular, and optical physics

Research Description

The basic premise of Holger Müller's work is that precision measurements of fundamental quantities can help to address the great challenges faced by physicists now – for example, how we can find and verify a theory beyond the standard model of particle physics that might eventually unify gravity and quantum mechanics. While the energy scale of such theories is typically beyond the reach of experiments, it is possible to probe for suppressed effects at attainable energies in experiments of outstanding precision. Precision measurements have played a central role in the paradigm shifts of twentieth-century physics, and he is convinced that this will continue to be the case.

His work uses methods from atomic, molecular, and optical physics. It is centered on advancing the experimental technology to push the sensitivity of experiments to new levels, and to perform precision measurements of fundamental quantities.  I also work on the theory required for or underlying this work.

Holger Müller successfully applied for his first patent when he was 14. Later, he did his undergraduate thesis with Jürgen Mlynek at the University of Konstanz, Germany. He graduated from Humboldt-University, Berlin, with Achim Peters as advisor. Müller received a fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation and joined the group of Steven Chu in Stanford as a postdoc. In July 2008, he joined the physics faculty at U.C. Berkeley.

In the News

A rock is a clock: physicist uses matter to tell time

What is the simplest, most fundamental clock? UC Berkeley physicist Holger Müller and his colleagues have shown that a single atom is sufficient to measure time. Conversely, the frequency of matter can be used to define its mass.

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