Thursday, Jan 5: A Brief History of Time(keeping): Metrology and quantum simulation with optical lattice clocks

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - 3:30pm

Event Location: 

  • 1003 Kohn Hall (= KITP Main Seminar Room)
  • Special Physics Colloquium

Optical lattice clocks (OLCs) are now the most stable and accurate timekeepers in the world, with fractional accuracies equivalent to neither losing nor gaining a second over the entire age of the universe. This unprecedented level of metrological precision offers sensitivity to new quantum, many-body, and fundamental physics effects, opening the door to exciting and unusual applications. The current generation of OLCs are also approaching their classical limits, requiring quantum science techniques to reach the next frontier in clock performance. This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured, with an emphasis on OLCs and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing OLCs to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. I will also present results from a recent experiment in which we harnessed the precision of our OLC to simulate complex condensed matter phenomena. Finally, I will give a brief overview of other potential applications of OLCs, including gravitational wave detection and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.