The department takes advantage of the Precision Laboratory, which is a worldwide unique building providing a ‘noise-free’ environment for the most sensitive experiments. Each experiment is seismically, acoustically, and electromagnetically shielded from the environment. In order to technically realize these experimental environments, the challenges in the construction of the laboratory pushed the technical limits and set new standards.
Acoustically, each experiment is encapsulated by a concrete box with 60 dB attenuation to isolate it from the immediate laboratory environment. External vibrations are damped by a massive concrete block inside the acoustic box weighing between 100t and 190t. Set on air springs, vibrations are reduced to a level below 10nm/s, several orders of magnitude smaller than the best industry standard today. For experiments operating at temperatures below 100mK, the acoustic boxes are also electromagnetically shielded by a closed metal shell yielding 100dB attenuation. All other boxes are encapsulated by a 60dB shielding. Further, the building has been constructed such that general noise sources have been reduced as well. This includes, but is not limited to separate acoustic boxes at each experiment for noisy equipment, such as roughing pumps, shielded power lines, an all optical data network and, correspondingly, an all optical voice-over-IP telecommunication.