Coulomb Crystals for Clocks

Short Name: CC4C, Project Number: 17FUN07
Businessman with Time is Money concept
Investigating the next generation of atomic clocks

Atomic clocks form the basis of international time keeping, providing highly accurate time to a wide range of sectors around the world. The next generation of atomic clocks are based on optical frequencies using laser-cooled trapped ions. These ultra-precise optical clocks hold significant promise for increasing measurement accuracy and stability, and rapid progress has been made in reducing their uncertainties. To continue to optimise optical clocks for commercial applications such as communication and navigation, further understanding and control of ion sources is needed. This in turn requires that the necessary experimental equipment is made accessible.


This project will investigate laser-cooled trapped ions for optical clocks, examining the characteristics of multi-ion sources. It will also implement an advanced form of laser cooling, and develop transportable equipment to enable experiments to be carried out at nuclear physics and optical measurement laboratories. By supporting the reliability and precision of trapped ion optical clocks, this project will help to meet growing industry need for accurate time, and provide an essential contribution to the revised SI unit system.

Other Participants
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover (Germany)
Max Planck Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Wissenschaften e.V. (Germany)
Technische Universitaet Wien (Austria)
Ústav přístrojové techniky AV ČR, v.v.i. (Czech Republic)