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The first high-precision quantum gravimeter developed at CGE, HUST

Jan 6, 2021

On January 3rd, the team at the Center for Gravitational Experiments (CGE), School of Physics, announced that they had made a great breakthrough in the research and development of the quantum gravimeter. The first practical high-precision rubidium atom absolute gravimeter was developed and recently delivered to the Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration.

According to double-blind measurement in multiple sites of urban areas, suburbs, and field stations, as well as comprehensive evaluation by experts from Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Earthquake Administration, the Survey Team of the Ministry of Natural Resources and other institutes, the instrument has reached a precision level of 10 nm.s−2 (1 μGal). Thus, it received high recognition from users and passed the recent inspection successfully. As the first quantum gravimeter developed for industry, it will not only break the foreign technology monopoly of high-precision gravimeters, but also pave the way towards the development of national high-end quantum equipment providing a new option for Chinese independent intellectual property rights for industry, to better guarantee the security of core data.

Guided by Jun Luo, an academician from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the team led by Prof. Zhongkun Hu and Prof. Minkang Zhou at the CGE, has devoted themselves for 15 years to solve the key technical problems of quantum gravimeters such as matter-wave interference, ultra-low frequency vibration isolation, and equipment miniaturization. The resolution of quantum gravimeter was improved to the highest level in the world in 2013 and that position has been maintained to date. In the 10th International Comparison of Absolute Gravimeter in 2017, with the synthetic uncertainty of 3 μGal, the quantum gravimeter of HUST possessed the highest accuracy amongst its counterparts. While focusing on the technological frontier, the team also aimed at national demands and developed the first small-scale and high-precision quantum gravimeter with independent intellectual property rights for earthquake research and other industries. The development and application of this instrument represents a significant step forward to meet the needs of society.

Since its establishment more than 30 years ago, the CGE has been undertaking scientific research direction, and has been recognized as the “gravitation center of the world” by foreign experts. The gravity field is the fundamental physical field relating to human life. The accurate value of gravity plays an important role in deep earth exploration, resources exploration, disaster monitoring and early warning, earth science and other fields. Moreover, it is of great strategic significance to the national economy, social development and national security. The first high-precision quantum gravimeter developed by the CGE will not only help accomplish the related scientific research, but also ensure data security within our own Chinese equipment exploration.

Source: School of Physics

Written by: Ren Jianwei, Andrew, Peng Yumeng

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