The Gyroscope project

A passive ring laser for geodesy

It is impossible to perform an experiment that measures whether one's inertial frame is moving or not. But the opposite is true for rotations: we can perform experiments (also very precise ones!) to measure rotation rates, e.g. via the Sagnac effect. These ring laser gyroscopes come in two versions: as fiber-optic gyroscopes (very fast and compact, and used in every airplane), and as active ring lasers (very precise, for long-term geodetic and seismic measurements).

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Simon Stellmer / University of Bonn

In this project, we want to forward a third and hitherto poorly explored version: passive ring lasers, where an external laser is locked to a ring cavity. We claim to know a little bit about optical cavities, so we are eager to push the limits of these gyroscopes.

This project is in close collaboration with the geodesy group of Prof. Kusche, and received start-up funding through the Transdisciplinary Research Area (TRA) "Matter". 


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