Nancy Paul awarded ERC Starting Grant 2023!

© Timothe Paire, CNRS

Nancy Paul, a CNRS researcher working in the Metrology and Fundamental Tests group, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant. Nancy’s project, PAX (antiProtonic Atom X-ray spectroscopy), will couple new quantum sensing x-ray detectors with slow, trapped antiprotons to probe Rydberg states in antiprotonic atoms for testing strong-field quantum electrodynamics, the field theory that describes the interaction between the quantized field of charged particles and photons. PAX builds on the availability of slow antiprotons in the newly commissioned ELENA ring at CERN, and is made possible via a partnership with the Quantum Sensing Division of NIST (USA) for novel x-ray detector development. PAX opens a new avenue for strong-field QED tests with exotic atoms, complementary to the world-leading work at LKB for highest-precision QED theory tests using accurate spectroscopy of highly-charged ions.

ERC starting grants support early-career researchers showing strong promise and excellent proposals. For 2023, 15% of applicants were successful and 400 researchers across Europe received awards totaling 628 M€.