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Enhancing the tick-tock of an optical atomic clock

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Andrew Ludlow

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

NIST, Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • JILA Colloquium

Event Details & Abstract: 

Optical atomic clocks are next-generation timekeepers promising new levels in the measurement of time.  With applications ranging from the exploration of fundamental laws of physics to advanced synchronization and geodetic measurements, the capability to measure time at one part in 1018offers exciting possibilities.  One type of optical clock, the optical lattice clock, has seen rapid progress since its original development one decade ago.  To achieve the measurement of time at such a high level, several key advances are being explored worldwide.  A formidable obstacle to be overcome is understanding and controlling the blackbody Stark effect at that level.  Here, I describe our efforts to do this in the ytterbium optical lattice clock, including high accuracy measurements of the atomic polarizability, dynamic blackbody effects, and thermal blackbody environment.  Furthermore, I will highlight new advances in these clocks which allow unprecedented levels of time and frequency precision, and its implications for the future.