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Table-Top Precision Experiments in Fundamental Physics

Module NAT3007

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

NAT3007 is a semester module in German or English language at which is offered in winter semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module NAT3007 is Peter Fierlinger.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This lecture offers an overview of precision experiments, which probe the fundamental laws of nature complementary to high-energy particle accelerators and search for physics beyond the standard model of particle physics. The experiments are put in a broader context and motivated through physics. Methods, experimental challenges and results are discussed. Topics are:
  1. Searches for electric dipole moments of fundamental quantum systems
  2. Tests of Lorentz-invariance
  3. Conservation of CPT symmetries
  4. Ultra-light and axion-like particles
  5. Structure of the proton and neutron and their charge radius
  6. Measurement methods, including Ramsey-spectroscopy
  7. Tests of gravity using torsion pendulums and quantum methods
  8. Spin-clocks
  9. Anti-hydrogen experiments
  10. Precision measurements of neutron and moon
  11. Small magnetic fields
  12. Insights into systematic issues of selected experiments

Learning Outcome

After successful completion of the module the students are able to:

  1. Give an overview of the topic of table-top precision measurements
  2. Explain how the experiments relate to probing the Standard Model of particle physics and beyond
  3. Explain experimental methods commonly used in this field
  4. Estimate strengths and limits of the experimental methods


No preconditions in addition to the requirements for the Master’s program in Physics.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VO 2 Table-Top Precision Experiments in Fundamental Physics Fierlinger, P. Wed, 14:00–16:00, PH 2271
UE 2 Exercise to Table-Top Precision Experiments in Fundamental Physics
Responsible/Coordination: Fierlinger, P.
Mon, 10:00–12:00, PH 2271

Learning and Teaching Methods

In the thematically structured lecture the learning content is presented. With cross references between different topics the universal concepts in physics are shown. In scientific discussions the students are involved to stimulate their analytic-physics intellectual power. In the exercise the selected aspects of the experiments depicted and learning deepened and exercised using problem examples and calculations. Thus the students are able to explain and apply the learned physics knowledge independently.


Powerpoint, blackboard, exercise sheets


Literature is provided in the lecture. Basic background information with overview character can be obtained here:;=standard T. E. Chupp, P. Fierlinger, M. J. Ramsey-Musolf, and J. T. Singh, Rev. Mod. Phys. 91, 015001 (2019)

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • Explain the measurement of the electric dipole moment of Xenon 129 using a sketch.
  • Explain the principle of a spin clock and its systematic and statistical limitations
  • Motivate tests of Newtonian Gravity and discuss modern experiments in this field

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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