Roura, Albert

Albert Roura
Universität Ulm
Institut für Quantenphysik
D-89069 Ulm

Tel.:+49 (731) 50-22781
Fax:+49 (731) 50-23086

Since October 2011 I have been a member of the Quantum Physics Institute and have been leading a group conducting research on Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) and ultracold atoms in microgravity and their application to high-precision measurements based on atom interferometry. Our group provides theoretical support within the QUANTUS collaboration, which is funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and involves a number of mainly experimental groups in Germany.

The collaboration's microgravity experiments are carried out at ZARM's Drop Tower in Bremen and on sounding rockets. MAIUS 1, the first rocket mission, was successfully completed on 23 January 2017 and accomplished the generation of the first BEC in space ever (it is also the first experiment in space with ultracold atoms and with atom interferometry). More information on the MAIUS 1 mission can be found in DLR's press release and a short movie of the rocket launch is available here. The achievement has also been featured in an article published in Der Spiegel Online (in German).

In addition, we are collaborating with NASA on future joint experiments with ultracold atoms on the International Space Station (ISS).

Research interests

My research interests and previous research experience span a wide range of topics including non-equilibrium quantum field theory, open quantum systems, cosmology and black hole physics. In recent years the main research areas in which I have been more actively involved are these:


A list of my publications is available in Google Scholar.

See also my page on ResearchGate.

EU COST Action / ESA Topical Team

  • Member of the Management Committee of an EU COST Action on Quantum Technologies in Space
  • Member of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Topical Team on ACES and General Relativity in connection with the ACES (Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space) experiment on the ISS.

Conferences organized

Outreach (recent activities)

  • Einstein inside: an exhibition created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of general relativity. It was inaugurated at the Urania (Berlin) on 25 November 2015 and has been shown in many cities around Germany since then.
    I was responsible for the content of the stand on Quantenexperimenten in der Schwerelosigkeit – Tests von Grundlagen der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie mit Hilfe von Materiewellen (Quantum experiments in microgravity – Testing the foundations of general relativity with matter waves)
  • Lecture on Urknalltheorie und die Verbindung zwischen Hochenergiephysik und Kosmologie (Big-Bang theory and the connections between high-energy physics and cosmology) for the studium generale at Ulm University, 23 May 2016.
  • Focus article on Gezeitenkräfte im Quantenmaßstab (Tidal forces at quantum scales) published in Physik Journal (July 2017). The article reports in a pedagogical and non-technical style on recent experiments carried out in Stanford where the effect of the spacetime curvature across a quantum superposition of two spatially separated wave packets was measured for the first time.
    Physik Journal is the journal of the German Physical Society (the largest in the world, with ca 62,000 members) and has a broad readership, including many physics students and high-school teachers.


Besides the supervision of a number of master and PhD students, I have given the following lectures as part of my teaching activities during the last few years: