OC18 – Optical clocks with 1E-18 uncertainty

A project founded by EMPIR Call 2015 – SI Broader Scope.

Optical clocks with 1 × 10-18 uncertainty are needed by a wide range of sectors from basic science and metrology to applications in geodesy, satellite navigation and environmental monitoring.  This three year collaborative project aims to develop world-leading optical atomic clocks across Europe by addressing the following technical objectives:

  • To achieve instabilities in laser frequencies of 1 × 10-16 or below after 1s
  • To develop traps for single ions and neutral atoms that support > 1 s probe times
  • To evaluate and reduce systematic uncertainties in optical clocks to the level of 10-18
  • To implement novel interrogation methods with an optimised sequence of probe pulses
  • To validate the performance of optical clocks through direct frequency comparisons

The consortium brings together all the European national measurement institutes active in the field of optical atomic clocks, combining the expertise in both neutral atom and single ion clocks as well as the leaders in the development of stable lasers.