University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Seminars > Cryogenic silicon interferometry for improved optical timekeeping

Cryogenic silicon interferometry for improved optical timekeeping

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  • UserEric Oelker, JILA, University of Colorado
  • ClockWednesday 15 January 2020, 10:00-11:00
  • HousePW 106.

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In the past decade, atomic clocks based on mHz linewidth optical transitions have emerged as the world’s best timekeepers. Their stability is limited by the laser used to perform spectroscopy on the clock transition. To achieve the best performance the laser is stabilized to an optical reference cavity. Like gravitational wave detectors, these reference cavities are ultimately limited by Brownian thermal noise in the mirror coatings, substrates, and cavity spacer. A reduction in thermal noise is possible through cryogenic operation and the use of materials with intrinsically lower mechanical loss. In this talk I will describe a new class of ultrastable lasers based on cryogenic silicon reference cavities that have been developed in recent years at JILA . I will detail how our ultrastable laser has lead to improvements in the stability of the JILA Sr lattice clocks. I will also discuss how recent improvements in the long term stability of our laser has allowed us to form a time scale based entirely on optical technology.

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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