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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...

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Published: Oct 14, 2014

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Published: Aug 25, 2014

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Published: Aug 18, 2014

Symmetries described by SU(N) group theory made it possible for physicists in the 1950s to...

Published: Aug 01, 2014

The Raschke group recently came up with a clever way to detect folds and grain boundaries in...

Published: Jul 13, 2014

The spooky quantum property of entanglement is set to become a powerful tool in precision...

Published: Jun 26, 2014

Graduate student Adam Kaufman and his colleagues in the Regal and Rey groups have demonstrated a...

Published: Jun 22, 2014

The Ye group has not only made two invisible rulers of extreme ultraviolet (XUV) light, but also...

Published: Jun 13, 2014

Imagine a network of multiple clocks orbiting the Earth, not only reporting down to us, but also...

Published: May 27, 2014

Mid-infrared (mid-IR) laser light is accomplishing some remarkable things at JILA. This...

Published: May 22, 2014

Biomolecules may not always behave the same way in test tubes as they do in living cells, a fact...

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