Toward an Optical Atomic Clock: Physicists Develop Atomic Frequency Standard for One of World’s Most Precise Clocks

Polish physicists accept been aiming to body an optical diminutive clock, an acutely absolute accessory with an accurateness of one additional in a few dozen billion years, back 2008. The aftermost of the three key apparatus of the clock: an diminutive abundance accepted based on algid strontium atoms has aloof been developed at the Department of Photonics, Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University. The alarm itself will be accumulated already this year.
The architecture of a Polish optical diminutive clock, a accessory of attention rarely akin in the world, will anon access its final phase. A accumulation led by Prof. Wojciech Gawlik at the Department of Photonics, Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University has aloof complete the aftermost of the key apparatus appropriate for the architecture of the clock: an diminutive accepted based on algid strontium atoms. Afterwards the cessation of a alternation of tests, the accessory will be transported to the National Laboratory for Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (KL FAMO) in Toruń, area physicists will amalgamate it with the two actual components: an optical adjust developed by a accumulation led by Prof. Czesław Radzewicz from the University of Warsaw (UW) and an ultra-precise laser congenital beneath the administration of Roman Ciuryłło, PhD, at the Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK).
Precise time abstracts are of key accent to the able activity of our civilization. Without them, avant-garde telecommunication and aeronautics systems, decidedly accessory systems, would cease to function. Ultra-precise clocks are additionally basal for analysis on the axiological backdrop of reality, amid others, for investigating whether the ethics of concrete constants are absolutely connected and investigating the admeasurement to which the accepted approach of relativity provides an authentic description of the Universe.
The Polish optical diminutive alarm architecture project, financed alone by the Ministry of Science and College Education, was started two years ago and is conducted by groups of physicists from all over Poland, currently accommodating aural the framework of KL FAMO which is a allotment of the National Laboratory for Breakthrough Technologies. The abstract attention of time abstracts of the alarm beneath architecture will be two orders of consequence greater than that of the best absolute cesium clocks, which are currently used, amid others, to ascertain the accepted second. “The Polish alarm will accept an accurateness of one additional in a few dozen billion years, which is a aeon several times best than that which delayed from the Big Bang. Such absolute timekeeping accessories can nowadays be begin alone in a scattering of analysis centres in the world,” says Prof. Wojciech Gawlik, arch of the aggregation of physicists from Cracow.
All clocks accomplish use of a assertive abundance standard, a alternate concrete phenomenon. In the case of a wristwatch, the accepted is a quartz resonator with an aquiver quartz crystal. Commonly acclimated diminutive clocks accomplish use of an cyberbanking alteration amid activity levels in cesium atoms. The physicists from Cracow, on the added hand, accept complete a accepted based on strontium atoms, in which cyberbanking transitions amid diminutive activity levels crave assimilation and discharge of electromagnetic radiation of a abundant college abundance than in cesium. The abundance lies in the optical ambit (hence the adjective “optical” in the name of the clock). Confined in a laser trap, strontium atoms are abandoned from the ambience and cooled with a laser to an acutely low temperature of the adjustment of microkelvins. Beneath these conditions, the anticipation of diminutive collisions is low, which abundantly reduces the achievability of disturbance. The new accepted is currently ability the aboriginal tests.
The abundance accepted based on strontium atoms is one of the apparatus of the optical diminutive clock. It will be acclimated to balance the abundance of the ultra-precise laser congenital in Toruń. It is absolutely the accordance of the electric acreage of a ablaze axle emitted by the laser that will be counted as elementary units of time, alternating with abundant precision. Yet the laser operates with such a aerial abundance that counting the alone oscillations is above the capabilities of cyberbanking systems. What is bare is a accessory which acts as a asperous gear. The accessory in catechism is a abundance adjust — a set of abundant ablaze after-effects of narrow, centermost frequencies. The comb, generated by a laser abounding ultra-short ablaze pulses, allows for a accompanying and error-free alteration of diminutive accepted oscillations into radio beachcomber abundance ambit — radio after-effects can be electronically counted. The abundance adjust has already been operated by scientists from the Ultrafast Phenomena Laboratory of the Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Warsaw and preliminarily accumulated with a bartering advertence laser of a counterbalanced abundance of light. Works are currently underway to amalgamate it with the ultra-precise laser congenital at the National Laboratory FAMO in Toruń.
“Our diminutive accepted based on strontium atoms is the third, final allotment of the puzzle. In several months’ time, afterwards the tests and afterwards alteration it to Toruń, we will be able to alpha putting the alarm together,” observes Prof. Gawlik.
The National Laboratory for Breakthrough Technologies ( is a bunch of arch Polish accurate institutions administering analysis in the acreage of breakthrough technologies, including breakthrough computing, breakthrough engineering and accompanying fields. The NLTK consists of: the University of Warsaw, the Wrocław University of Technology, the Institute of Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, the Jagiellonian University, the University of Gdańsk, the University of Łódź, and the Center for Abstract Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. A activity of the aforementioned name is agitated out in bristles of the eight institutions of the NLTK consortium. The aim of the activity is to actualize and accouter the affiliate accurate institutions with accessories all-important for administering world-class collective accurate analysis as able-bodied as analysis and development. The National Laboratory for Breakthrough Technologies Activity is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund beneath the Operational Programme Innovative Economy 2007-2013, Priority 2, Basement of the R&D sphere, Action 2.2 “Support for the conception of collective analysis basement of

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