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Research Highlights

Published: Thu, 03/15/2018 - 1:15pm

We all know what a tenth of a second feels like. It’s a jiffy, a snap of the fingers, or a camera shutter click. But what does 14 billion years–the age of the universe–feel like?

JILA’s atomic clock has the precision to measure the age of the universe to within a tenth of a second. That sort of precision is difficult to intuit. Yet, JILA’s atomic clock, which is the most precise clock in the world, continues to improve its precision. The latest jump in precision, of nearly 50 percent, came about from a new perspective.

“The precision of our clock is now about two and half parts in 10 to the 19. Which is an almost impossibly tiny, tiny number to actually realize or understand,” says G. Edward Marti , a JILA postdoc in the Ye group, and integral member of JILA’s atomic clock team. “We know we’re not at the limit of this.”

The atomic clock is more than just an atom. It’s actually a system of thousands of atoms and a very impressive laser. This system works much like an old time-keeping system: a grandfather clock and the sun. A grandfather clock records time by swinging a pendulum back and forth. Similarly, the laser has a ticking electromagnetic field (...

Published: Jun 06, 2012

The Nesbitt group has been investigating RNA folding since the early 2000s. The group’s...

Published: May 24, 2012

News Flash!  The Rey group has discovered another good reason for using alkaline-earth...

Published: May 09, 2012

In Roman mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, of doors and bridges, as...

Published: May 03, 2012

Fellow Mitch Begelman and his colleagues came up with the idea of quasistars to explain the...

Published: Apr 20, 2012

Giant planets form inside a disk of gas and dust orbiting a new star. At first, gravitational...

Published: Apr 04, 2012

The Thompson group, with theory help from the Holland group, recently demonstrated a...

Published: Mar 20, 2012

On Earth, people use enormous linear accelerators and synchrotrons for such purposes as high-...

Published: Mar 15, 2012

The Kapteyn/Murnane group and scientists from NIST Boulder and Germany have figured out how the...

Published: Feb 23, 2012

Fellows Konrad Lehnert and Cindy Regal are collaborating on an ambitious undertaking to explore...

Published: Feb 21, 2012

The Greene group has just discovered some weird quantum states of ultracold fermions that are...

Published: Feb 02, 2012

The Ye group has created the world’s first “ruler of light” in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV)....

Published: Jan 26, 2012

Incredibly sensitive measurements can be made using particles that are correlated in a special...

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