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Sensing & Measurement

UK Lab Developing New Optical Clocks

These are momentous times for Patrick Gill and his colleagues at UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) near London where a staggeringly accurate generation of atomic clocks are being developed.

A new generation of atomic tickers, known as optical clocks, have just wrested the record for accuracy from the ensembles of oscillating caesium atoms that held it for half a century. Soon, the new technology will be so refined that if such a clock had ticked away every second since the big bang, it would not yet have missed a beat.

Gill has presented papers on optical clocks at SPIE Optics+Photonics, where he was a program committee member on a conference on Time and Frequency Metrology, and SPIE Photonics West.

See the New Scientist article on super clocks.