Optical Tweezer Clock Based On Atomic Array

Scientists have reported a prototype atomic-array optical tweezer clock that uses optical-tweezer technology to combine the benefits of single-atom and optical-lattice clocks. At present, the most accurate and stable optical clocks use optical interrogation of either a single ion or an ensemble of neutral atoms confined in an optical lattice. They have enabled new experiments in geodesy, fundamental physics and quantum many-body physics.

The prototype optical tweezer clock platform is based on an array of about 40 strontium atoms, each one trapped by an optical tweezer. The researchers load the array from a cold atomic cloud and then induce light-assisted collisions to eliminate higher trap occupancies.

The optical tweezer clock prototype platform is based on an array of about 40 strontium atoms, each one trapped by an optical tweezer. The researchers load the array from a cold atomic cloud and then induce light-assisted collisions to eliminate higher trap occupancies.

Then, the team uses a laser to excite the individual atoms and a camera to make readings of their fluorescence. To generate an error signal, the researchers interrogate once below resonance and once above. This atom-by-atom feedback control, they say, enables direct estimation of laser noise contribution.

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