Murray Barrett Group

The development of stable and accurate time standards has historically been an important driver of both fundamental science and applied technologies. Recent years have seen phenomenal progress in atomic clocks based on optical transitions such that several systems now exceed state-of-the-art cesium fountain clocks. Our group is investigating singly-ionized lutetium as a potential clock candidate. This ion has a very unique atomic structure supporting a total of three clock transitions with extremely low sensitivities to external electromagnetic fields. A fortuitous property of one transition allows micromotion-induced shifts from the trapping fields to be exactly cancelled making it a prime candidate for a multi-ion clock. Moving from the usual single-ion clock to the many ion arena will eliminate the stability bottleneck facing all other ion-based clocks today and open the possibility of applying quantum logic techniques to enhance clock stability.

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