Semiconductors & Integrated Circuits
ALKALI METAL OPTICAL CLOCK
Inventors: Mark Saffman, Shimon Kolkowitz, Arjav Sharma
UW researchers have invented a Cesium Lattice Optical Clock (CLOC) for high performance and simple operation in a compact form factor. The novel design uses a “forbidden” optical transition in Cs atoms. Cs atoms are trapped in a 3D optical lattice. To reduce sensitivity to magnetic fields, the atoms are probed on two cycling transitions with equal magnitude, but opposite magnetic shifts. Operation of the clock uses only two - three diode lasers and is greatly simplified compared to other higher-performance optical clocks that rely on alkaline earth atoms or single trapped ions.