30 Nov '12, 8pm

'Hyper-Ramsey' Method Refines Atomic Clock Research

'Hyper-Ramsey' Method Refines Atomic Clock Research

The push to engineer ever-more-accurate clocks continues. A group at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB, the German national standards institute) has developed a technique for more accurately measuring the frequencies of photons emitted by promising “clock transitions”—rare energy states durable enough to stick around for sustained probing by ham-fisted humans. PTB researchers Nils Huntemann and Ekkehard Peik (with their collaborators at PTB and at the Institute of Laser Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia) are particularly interested in developing clocks based on ytterbium 171. The Yb ion boasts one particular transition (2 S1/2 —2 F7/2 ), whose high-energy state has a natural lifetime of several years (desirable in a clock because random emissions pose less of a problem). In experiments reported in Physics Review Letters (also available through arXiv ) the researc...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/at-work/test-and-measu...

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ereadernewstoday.com 30 Nov '12, 4pm

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