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Research Highlights

Published: Thu, 03/15/2018 - 1:15pm

We all know what a tenth of a second feels like. It’s a jiffy, a snap of the fingers, or a camera shutter click. But what does 14 billion years, which is the age of the universe, feel like?

JILA’s atomic clock has the precision to measure the age of the universe to within a tenth of a second. That sort of precision is difficult to intuit. Yet JILA’s atomic clock, which is the most precise clock in the world, continues to improve its precision. The latest jump in precision, of nearly 50 percent, came about from a new perspective.

“The precision of our clock is now about two and half parts in 10 to the 19. Which is an almost impossibly tiny, tiny number to actually realize or understand,” says G. Edward Marti , a JILA postdoc in the Ye group, and integral member of JILA’s atomic clock team. “We know we’re not at the limit of this.”

The atomic clock is more than just an atom. It’s actually a system of thousands of atoms, and a very impressive laser. This system works much like an old time keeping system: a grandfather clock and the sun. A grandfather clock records time by swinging a pendulum back and forth. Similarly, the laser has a ticking electromagnetic...

Published: Jul 27, 2016

Fellow Phil Armitage and group collaborator Jacob Simon of the Southwest Research Institute are...

Published: Jul 21, 2016

The Raschke group has created an ultrafast optical nanoscope based on a unique way of “nano”...

Published: Jul 20, 2016

Bob Peterson and his colleagues in the Lehnert-Regal lab recently set out to try something that...

Published: Jun 28, 2016

Fellow Judah Levine recently presented a discussion of our understanding of time from antiquity...

Published: Jun 02, 2016

The Kapteyn/Murnane group has measured how long it takes an electron born into an excited state...

Published: May 04, 2016

The Ye group just solved a major problem for using...

Published: Apr 21, 2016

Move over, single-atom laser cooling! The Holland theory group has just come up with a stunning...

Published: Apr 20, 2016

The old JILA molecule factory (built in 2002) produced the world’s first ultracold polar...

Published: Mar 31, 2016

The Ye and Rey groups have discovered the strange rules of quantum baseball in which strontium (...

Published: Feb 10, 2016

Cong Chen and his colleagues in the Kapteyn/Murnane group have generated one of the most complex...

Published: Jan 28, 2016

The Rey and Ye groups are in the midst of an extended collaboration on using the Ye group’s...

Published: Dec 08, 2015

In 2008, Fellow Jeff Linsky and his colleague Seth Redfield of Wesleyan University used spectral...

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