Xing Wu

Assistant Professor of Physics


Education and training

  • BS, Physics, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 2009
  • MS, Engineering Physics, Technical University of Munich, Germany, 2011
  • PhD, Physics, Technical University of Munich, Germany, 2017


Why is the Universe we live in made of matter, instead of anti-matter? What is dark matter made of? These mysteries in modern physics can be addressed by studying the fundamental symmetries of nature. My research at FRIB investigates these fundamental questions using "table-top" size experiments. By performing extremely precise spectroscopy on molecules, we search for the electric dipole moment (EDM) of electrons and nucleons. These EDM measurements currently place the most stringent bounds on the time-reversal (T-) symmetry-breaking new physics beyond the Standard Model, and shed light on the origin of our Universe. In the RaMol (Radioactive Molecules) lab, we utilize pear-shaped nuclei produced at FRIB, to enhance the sensitivity to T-violating new physics. This enhanced sensitivity comes from octupole deformation of the nuclei. In the QuEST (Quantum-Enhanced teST for fundamental symmetry) lab, we further improve the precision molecular spectroscopy, by employing state-of-the-art atomic and laser physics technology as well as the quantum metrology toolbox. These technical developments could lead to future application in quantum sensing, and quantum information processing.


Born in Hefei, China, I embarked on an international academic journey that took me from Singapore, where I spent my undergraduate studies, to Munich, Germany, where I earned both my MS and PhD. While my academic focus stays in physics, my true passion lies in the exploration of diverse fields, driven by curiosity. During my doctoral studies at the Technical University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, I pioneered a nonconventional technique leveraging centrifugal force to decelerate molecular beams to a complete standstill.

My academic journey led me to Harvard University, where I delved into precision molecular spectroscopy, contributing to the investigation of fundamental symmetries in nature. Notably, I achieved a groundbreaking milestone by measuring the most precise bound on the electron electric dipole moment, utilizing cold Thorium Monoxide molecules as a quantum sensor.

Currently based at FRIB and MSU, I am at the forefront of building a groundbreaking precision spectroscopy experiment. This initiative aims to synergize the rare isotope resources at FRIB with cutting-edge quantum technology in atomic and laser physics. The goal is to push the boundaries of fundamental symmetry testing, marking a significant contribution to the field and further advancing our understanding of the physical universe.

How students can contribute as part of my research team

Students of the QuEST team will be in the unique position to perform research on the fundamental symmetries of nature, using state-of-the-art atomic and quantum physics tools. Unlike the conventional experimental particle physics research that happen at gigantic particle colliders, we study physics beyond the Standard Model using "table-top" sized experiment. The students will be looking for the tiny traces from exotic, 10-100 TeV energy particles, by making extremely precise measurement on the spectrum of molecules. Thus, mastering quantum control and quantum sensing of molecules will be the key. In addition, students will learn how to handle radioactive isotopes and add them into our molecules. We enjoy collaboration with radiochemists, molecular spectroscopists, atomic and nuclear physicists all around the world.

Scientific publications