Colorado State University - Pueblo host physics lecture on miniature atomic clocks


Colorado State University - Pueblo host physics lecture on miniature atomic clocks

PUEBLO – The College of Science and Mathematics at Colorado State University-Pueblo will host a lecture next week on the latest developments in miniature atomic clocks by a representative of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Elizabeth Donley, representing the Atomic Devices and Instrumentation Group Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, will discuss miniaturized, high-performance atomic clocks at noon on Thursday, Feb. 17 in Physics/Math 103.

Donley’s team designs and characterizes methods to build miniaturized atomic clocks and sensors, which until now, had been based on thermal samples of alkali atoms confined in millimeter-scale vapor cells. Donley explores designs for high-performance, miniaturized atomic clocks based on laser-cooled atoms. Atomic clocks based on vapor cells suffer from pressure-dependent frequency shifts induced by buffer-gas collisions that make them inherently inaccurate. Laser cooling eliminates the need for buffer gases. By slowing down the atom velocities from hundreds of meters per second to a few centimeters per second, the measurement period can be long without the need for buffer gases.

For additional information on the lecture, contact James Alsup, visiting assistant professor of physics/mathematics, at james.alsup@colostate-pueblo.edu

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