158 research outputs found

    Advances in performance and automation of a single ytterbium ion optical clock

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    While the SI second is currently defined in terms of a microwave transition frequency in caesium, atomic clocks based on an optical transition are currently outperforming caesium clocks by up to two orders of magnitude. In order to fully exploit the potential accuracy achievable by optical clocks, the SI second needs to be redefined in terms of an optical frequency standard. The ¹⁷¹Yb⁺ ion is an excellent candidate thanks to the extremely narrow linewidth of its electric octupole (E3) transition and its particular insensitivity to external perturbations. This thesis is focused on the ytterbium ion optical clock at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), consisting of a single ¹⁷¹Yb⁺ ion trapped in a radio frequency (RF) Paul trap and probed by ultrastable 467-nm light to excite the E3 transition. Improved measurement methods were developed for the evaluation of several systematic frequency shifts. In particular, the electric quadrupole shift, which used to be the leading source of uncertainty, can now be directly measured with an accuracy in the low parts in 10¹⁸. A great focus was put on the automation of several aspects of the experiment. Because all optical clocks generally require a lot of maintenance and attention during their operation, many experimental routines were automated in order to minimise the requirement for human intervention. Furthermore, the analysis of almost all systematic shifts was automated, requiring minimal manual input so that shifts could be evaluated on the fly. Finally, a generalised framework was developed for the automatic evaluation of the absolute frequency of the optical clock via the International Atomic Time (TAI). In order to increase the confidence in the level of performance of the ytterbium ion optical clock, international clock comparison campaigns are regularly carried out. Between 2019 and 2022, several results were produced: two absolute frequency measurements via TAI with an uncertainty at the 1 × 10⁻¹⁵ level; two local frequency ratio measurements between ¹⁷¹Yb⁺ (E3) and ⁸⁷Sr with an uncertainty in the low parts in 10¹⁷; three uncertainty budgets at the parts in 10¹⁸ level; and one measurement of the ratio of the octupole and quadrupole optical clock transitions in ¹⁷¹Yb⁺ with an uncertainty of 1.5 × 10⁻¹⁶. All of these results are shown to be consistent with each other and in good agreement with the literature. Furthermore, a prototype optically-steered time scale was successfully demonstrated for the first time at NPL with the contribution of both the ¹⁷¹Yb⁺ and ⁸⁷Sr optical clocks.Open Acces

    The strontium molecular lattice clock: Vibrational spectroscopy with hertz-level accuracy

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    The immaculate control of atoms and molecules with light is the defining trait of modern experiments in ultracold physics. The rich internal degrees of freedom afforded by molecules enrich the toolbox of precision spectroscopy for fundamental physics, and hold great promise for applications in quantum simulation and quantum information science. A vibrational molecular lattice clock with systematic fractional uncertainty at the 14th decimal place is demonstrated for the first time, matching the performance of the earliest optical atomic clocks. Van der Waals dimers of strontium are created at ultracold temperatures and levitated by an optical standing wave, whose wavelength is finely tuned to preserve the delicate molecular vibrational coherence. Guided by quantum chemistry theory refined by highly accurate frequency-comb-assisted laser spectroscopy, record-long Rabi oscillations were demonstrated between vibrational molecular states that span the entire depth of the ground molecular potential. Enabled by the narrow molecular clock linewidth, hertz-level frequency shifts were resolved, facilitating the first characterization of molecular hyperpolarizability in this context. In a parallel effort, deeply bound strontium dimers are coherently created using the technique of stimulated Raman adiabatic passage. Ultracold collisions of alkaline-earth metal molecules in the absolute ground state are studied for the first time, revealing inelastic losses at the universal rate. This thesis reports one of the most accurate measurement of a molecule's vibrational transition frequency to date, which may potentially serve as a secondary representation of the SI unit of time in the terahertz (THz) band where standards are scarce. The prototypical molecular clock lays the important groundwork for future explorations into THz metrology, quantum chemistry, and fundamental interactions at atomic length scales

    Pathways Towards a Second Generation 88Sr2 Molecular Clock

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    For years, frequency standards have been the cornerstone of precision measurement. Among these frequency standards, atomic clocks have set records in both precision and accuracy, and have redefined the second. There is growing interest in more complex molecular systems to complement precision measurements with atoms. The rich internal structure of even the simplest diatomic molecules could provide new avenues for fundamental physics research, including searches for extensions to the Standard Model, dark matter candidates, novel forces or corrections to gravity at short distances, and tests of the variation of fundamental constants. In this thesis, we discuss the fundamental architecture for a precise molecular system based on a strongly forbidden weakly-bound to deeply-bound vibrational transition in 88Sr dimers. We discuss early studies to characterise our system and gain technical and quantum control over the experiment in anticipation of a precise metrological measurement. We, then, demonstrate a record-breaking precision for our 88Sr2 molecular clock ushering in a new era for precision measurement with clocks. Borrowing techniques from previous atomic clock architecture, we measure a ∼32 THz clock transition between two vibrational levels in the electronic ground state, achieving a fractional uncertainty of 4.6 × 10−14 in a new frequency regime. In this current iteration, our molecular clock is fundamentally limited by two-body loss lifetimes of 200 ms and light scattering induced by our high-intensity lattice. Given these limitations, we suggest improvements to combat the effects from both the lattice and two-body collisions in our 1D trap. These include technical improvements to our experiment and strategic choices of particular clock states in our ground electronic potential. We describe in-depth studies of the chemistry and polarizability behaviour of our molecule, which elucidates preferential future directions for a second generation clock system. These empirical results are substantiated by an improved theoretical picture. Ultimately, our molecular system is built in order to probe new physics and as a tool for precision measurement. Leveraging our record-precision clock and our new-found understanding of our molecule, we predict the capacity for our system to place meaningful, competitive constraints on new physics, in particular on Yukawa-type extensions to gravity. These predictions motivate improvements to our current generation clock and set the stage for future measurements with this system

    Feebly Interacting Particles: FIPs 2022 workshop report

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    Particle physics today faces the challenge of explaining the mystery of dark matter, the origin of matter over anti-matter in the Universe, the origin of the neutrino masses, the apparent fine-tuning of the electro-weak scale, and many other aspects of fundamental physics. Perhaps the most striking frontier to emerge in the search for answers involves new physics at mass scales comparable to familiar matter, below the GeV-scale, or even radically below, down to sub-eV scales, and with very feeble interaction strength. New theoretical ideas to address dark matter and other fundamental questions predict such feebly interacting particles (FIPs) at these scales, and indeed, existing data provide numerous hints for such possibility. A vibrant experimental program to discover such physics is under way, guided by a systematic theoretical approach firmly grounded on the underlying principles of the Standard Model. This document represents the report of the FIPs 2022 workshop, held at CERN between the 17 and 21 October 2022 and aims to give an overview of these efforts, their motivations, and the decadal goals that animate the community involved in the search for FIPs

    A terahertz vibrational molecular clock with systematic uncertainty at the 101410^{-14} level

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    Neutral quantum absorbers in optical lattices have emerged as a leading platform for achieving clocks with exquisite spectroscopic resolution. However, the studies of these clocks and their systematic shifts have so far been limited to atoms. Here, we extend this architecture to an ensemble of diatomic molecules and experimentally realize an accurate lattice clock based on pure molecular vibration. We evaluate the leading systematics, including the characterization of nonlinear trap-induced light shifts, achieving a total systematic uncertainty of 4.6×10144.6\times10^{-14}. The absolute frequency of the vibrational splitting is measured to be 31 825 183 207 592.8(5.1) Hz, enabling the dissociation energy of our molecule to be determined with record accuracy. Our results represent an important milestone in molecular spectroscopy and THz-frequency standards, and may be generalized to other neutral molecular species with applications for fundamental physics, including tests of molecular quantum electrodynamics and the search for new interactions.Comment: 17 pages, 8 figure

    The Fifteenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting

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    The three volumes of the proceedings of MG15 give a broad view of all aspects of gravitational physics and astrophysics, from mathematical issues to recent observations and experiments. The scientific program of the meeting included 40 morning plenary talks over 6 days, 5 evening popular talks and nearly 100 parallel sessions on 71 topics spread over 4 afternoons. These proceedings are a representative sample of the very many oral and poster presentations made at the meeting.Part A contains plenary and review articles and the contributions from some parallel sessions, while Parts B and C consist of those from the remaining parallel sessions. The contents range from the mathematical foundations of classical and quantum gravitational theories including recent developments in string theory, to precision tests of general relativity including progress towards the detection of gravitational waves, and from supernova cosmology to relativistic astrophysics, including topics such as gamma ray bursts, black hole physics both in our galaxy and in active galactic nuclei in other galaxies, and neutron star, pulsar and white dwarf astrophysics. Parallel sessions touch on dark matter, neutrinos, X-ray sources, astrophysical black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, binary systems, radiative transfer, accretion disks, quasars, gamma ray bursts, supernovas, alternative gravitational theories, perturbations of collapsed objects, analog models, black hole thermodynamics, numerical relativity, gravitational lensing, large scale structure, observational cosmology, early universe models and cosmic microwave background anisotropies, inhomogeneous cosmology, inflation, global structure, singularities, chaos, Einstein-Maxwell systems, wormholes, exact solutions of Einstein's equations, gravitational waves, gravitational wave detectors and data analysis, precision gravitational measurements, quantum gravity and loop quantum gravity, quantum cosmology, strings and branes, self-gravitating systems, gamma ray astronomy, cosmic rays and the history of general relativity

    Review of Particle Physics

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    The Review summarizes much of particle physics and cosmology. Using data from previous editions, plus 2,143 new measurements from 709 papers, we list, evaluate, and average measured properties of gauge bosons and the recently discovered Higgs boson, leptons, quarks, mesons, and baryons. We summarize searches for hypothetical particles such as supersymmetric particles, heavy bosons, axions, dark photons, etc. Particle properties and search limits are listed in Summary Tables. We give numerous tables, figures, formulae, and reviews of topics such as Higgs Boson Physics, Supersymmetry, Grand Unified Theories, Neutrino Mixing, Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Cosmology, Particle Detectors, Colliders, Probability and Statistics. Among the 120 reviews are many that are new or heavily revised, including a new review on Machine Learning, and one on Spectroscopy of Light Meson Resonances. The Review is divided into two volumes. Volume 1 includes the Summary Tables and 97 review articles. Volume 2 consists of the Particle Listings and contains also 23 reviews that address specific aspects of the data presented in the Listings. The complete Review (both volumes) is published online on the website of the Particle Data Group (pdg.lbl.gov) and in a journal. Volume 1 is available in print as the PDG Book. A Particle Physics Booklet with the Summary Tables and essential tables, figures, and equations from selected review articles is available in print, as a web version optimized for use on phones, and as an Android app.United States Department of Energy (DOE) DE-AC02-05CH11231government of Japan (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN)Physical Society of Japan (JPS)European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN)United States Department of Energy (DOE

    Metrology and many-body physics with ultracold metastable helium

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    Ultracold dilute gases provide ideal settings for measurements of atomic structure. Helium has an internal structure sufficiently simple to permit highly accurate predictions of its resonances and transition rates. Precise laser spectroscopy of helium thus yields empirical constraints on such calculations. These are desirable in the ongoing investigations seeking to reconcile the disagreement between independent determinations of nuclear charge radius data in both hydrogenic and helium atoms. Either the size of these particles are truly constant and quantum electrodynamics (QED) is flawed, or the theory is correct and some new physics is at play at the atomic scale. Ultracold bose gases also serve as ideal testing ground to better understand the physics of Bose-Einstein condensation, superfluidity, and the effects of weak interactions in condensed-matter systems. Beyond directly studying degenerate matter, ultracold gases in optical lattices serve as analogue quantum simulators which push the limits of modern many-body quantum physics. This thesis describes four projects, using Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) of helium-4 in each of these settings. The first two works present measurements of the frequencies of notable spectral features of helium. The first concerns measurements of transition energies between the second and fifth electronic manifolds. The second work is a new determination of the tune-out wavelength (frequency) near 413 nm (726 THz), at which the Rayleigh scattering cross-section vanishes. Calculation of tune-out points include predictions for the energies and strengths of the full spectrum of electronic transitions thus this measurement is a stringent test of QED. The new measurement can discern the contribution of QED effects and yields the most precise determination of transition-rate information in helium to date. Therafter, the measurement of the momentum of single atoms, afforded by the large internal energy of helium's metastable excited state, is employed to investigate the quantum depletion of a BEC after expansion into the far-field. While a non-interacting BEC consists of particles occupying a single quantum state, interactions between atoms result in a population of high-momentum modes even at zero temperature, termed the quantum depletion. Although the dilute nature of helium condensates means the quantum depletion is weak, this thesis includes measurements showing that it not only survives outside its originating BEC, but appears magnified relative to predicted in-situ levels. These measurements are combined with simulations of the expanding BECs to provide a partial explanation for this observation. Finally, the appendix reports on early progress towards the realization of an optical lattice trap for helium. Measurements of single-particle momenta can be used to compute momentum correlation functions to high orders. Momentum correlations have received less attention to date than site occupancy correlations in the context of optical lattices. Access to detailed momentum information would provide a new lens through which to examine strongly-correlated systems. Construction of a vacuum system, two magneto-optical traps, a magnetic trap, an absorption imaging system, and an optical dipole trap are described. This relates to ongoing work to construct a momentum microscope for the Bose-Hubbard model

    Understanding and controlling the collisions of ultracold polar molecules

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