Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Shimon Kolkowitz, UW Department of Physics
Abstract: Optical atomic clocks are now the most stable and accurate timekeepers in the world, with fractional accuracies equivalent to neither losing nor gaining a second over the entire age of the universe. This unprecedented level of metrological precision offers sensitivity to new physics phenomena, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured from a historical perspective, with an emphasis on the recent development of optical atomic clocks and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing clocks to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of clocks, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.