EMPIR optical clocks project advances fundamental research
From advanced navigation and telecommunications to radio astronomy and the testing of fundamental physical laws, the most precise and accurate time measurements are required.
To meet these technical challenges, optical clock development is at the forefront of research in this field. However, the stability of an optical clock is limited by two noise processes: the quantum projection noise due to the number of atoms and the noise due to the laser used to interrogate them.
Overcoming these limits is the goal of the EMPIR Ultra-stable optical oscillators from quantum coherent and entangled systems (17FUN03 - USOQS) project.
The project, coordinated by Filippo Levi from INRiM, is working to implement, study and characterise both established and brand-new methods for the development of optical clocks.
To go beyond noise limits and increase frequency stability, multi-particle entanglement of atoms/ions will be investigated; this phenomenon could also be exploited for a variety of measurements with enhanced sensitivity. The project results will support future realisations of the SI second through new frequency standards, and significantly impact many fields requiring ultra-precise time measurement.
This work is described in the open access paper "Dynamical decoupling of laser phase noise in compound atomic clocks" in the journal Communications Physics.