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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, which is 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...

Published: Dec 03, 2015

Imagine laser-like x-ray beams that can “see” through materials––all the way into the heart of...

Published: Nov 30, 2015

In the future, quantum microwave networks may handle quantum information transfer via optical...

Published: Nov 06, 2015

JILA’s cold molecule collaboration (Jin and Ye Groups, with theory support from the Rey Group)...

Published: Nov 02, 2015

The Regal and Rey groups have come up with a novel way to generate and propagate quantum...

Published: Oct 21, 2015

Scientists often use ultracold atoms to study the behavior of atoms and electrons in solids and...

Published: Oct 16, 2015

Fellow Phil Armitage and his collaborator Jake Simon of the Southwest Research Institute...

Published: Oct 16, 2015

The Perkins Group has demonstrated a 50-to-100 times improvement in the time resolution for...

Published: Oct 05, 2015

It took Eric Cornell three years to build JILA’s first Top Trap with his own two hands in the...

Published: Sep 21, 2015

The Kapteyn/Murnane group, with Visiting Fellow Charles Durfee, has figured out how to use...

Published: Aug 19, 2015

Graduate student Brian Lester of the Regal group has taken an important step toward building...

Published: Aug 14, 2015

Ever wondered how magnetic pressure alone might be able to maintain the structure of an...

Published: Aug 10, 2015

Compact and transportable optical lattices are coming soon to a laboratory near you, thanks to...

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