Physics with Atomic Clocks: Beyond what time is it?
Oct 10, 2007
3:15PM to 4:15PM
Date(s) - 10/10/2007
3:15 pm - 4:15 pm
Title: Physics with Atomic Clocks: Beyond what time is it?
Speaker: Dr. Kurt Gibble
Institute: Department of Physics
Penn State University
Location: ABB 102
Atomic clocks realize the most accurate measurements of any kind and are extremely sensitive to incredibly small perturbations. The current generation of atomic clocks uses laser-cooling and, after circumventing some new problems, these will realize 100 fold improvements in clock accuracies. I will describe the basic physics of clocks, the motivations for building better clocks, and several of the new problems. These include frequency shifts due to collisions of the cold atoms, the size of the recoil of an atom when it absorbs a photon, and juggling many atoms in fountains. Looking forward, the next generation of atomic clocks will utilize optical frequency transitions. I will describe this elegant technology that allows us to count at optical frequencies (1015