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Optical atomic clocks: more than just timepieces
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18:00 – 19:30 24 Apr 2018
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Cavendish Lecture Theatre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom, LA1 4YW

Speaker: Charles Baynham (NPL)

The SI unit system, the bricks upon which science is built, will soon be redefined: moving away from a dependence on physical artefacts to a system that is directly defined by the fundamental constants of
nature. Within this new system, time takes a crowning role, appropriately since modern atomic clocks are the most accurate instruments ever created.
 
One of those extraordinary instruments is the ytterbium optical clock at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory, a device which uses a single atom to measure the duration of the second. In this device, a forbidden transition in a laser-cooled trapped ion is excited, and the frequency of the light causing this excitation sets the rate at which the clock ‘ticks’.
 
This talk will focus on how this works, the ingredients of any atomic clock and some of the physics which becomes possible when you have a machine that operates at the 18th decimal place, a point at which the edges of the Standard Model may begin to fray.
 

Talk begins at 6:30pm, refreshments from 6:00pm.

Organised by: IOP Lancashire and Cumbria Branch

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Location icon
Cavendish Lecture Theatre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, Lancashire, United Kingdom, LA1 4YW
Clock icon
18:00 – 19:30 24 Apr 2018

Invite friends
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No registration required unless stated otherwise