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Atomic Physics Seminars

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Event Number 4404

  Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

A Brief History of Time(keeping): Metrology and quantum simulation with optical lattice clocks
Time: 12:00 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Shimon Kolkowitz, JILA - University of Colorado Boulder
Abstract: Optical lattice clocks (OLCs) 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 quantum, many-body, and fundamental physics effects, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. However, the current generation of OLCs are now approaching their classical limits, requiring quantum science techniques to reach the next frontier in clock performance.

This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured, with an emphasis on OLCs and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing OLCs to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. I also will present results from a recent experiment in which we harnessed the precision of an OLC to simulate complex condensed matter phenomena. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of OLCs, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.
Host: Thad Walker
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