Welcome to the Website of nuClock!

nuClock is a European project headed for an ambitious goal: the development of a scientific clock that reaches a much higher precision compared to the best clocks that are operated today in some of the world’s finest laboratories. While such clocks use the electrons of an atom as the “pendulum”, we will use the nucleus of a very special atom – Thorium-229 – for setting the rhythm. Once we get our clock working, it can be employed aboard navigation satellites, it can help to synchronize networks, and it might lead astronomers to a better understanding of the universe.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 664732. It will run from 2015 to 2019. Stay with us: it’s sure going to be exciting!




Laser spectroscopy of Th-229 recoil ions

In a joint experiment of the LMU group and the PTB group a first run of laser spectroscopy experiments has been done on trapped Th-229 from the Munich recoil ion catcher, with laser systems and optical detection methods developed at PTB. The measurements should provide crucial information on the nuclear properties of the isomeric state from the hyperfine structure of electronic transitions. The first experimental campaign in October/November this year has proven the joint working of the systems and…

Laser spectroscopy of Nobelium

Nobelium is one of these heavy and short-lived elements at the bottom of the periodic table. It has a  nuclear charge Z = 102 and even its most stable isotope has a half-life of less than a minute. Elements with Z > 100 are called transfermium elements, and so far, no laser spectroscopy has ever been performed on these elements. Last week, Mustapha Laatiaoui and his team reported on the first laser spectroscopy of two nobelium isotopes. They used the GSI facility to produce No-252 and No-254,…

Deborah Jin 1968 - 2016

We are deeply saddened to learn that Debbie left us much too soon. She was a great physicist and a kind person. Our thoughts are with her family, colleagues, and friends.

nuClock at Ars Electronica 2016

The 2016 Ars Electronica Festival took place last week in Linz: a perfect venue for the first public appearance of nuClock's art project! Kerstin Ergenzinger presented her past & future work, and Thorsten Schumm took part in a podium discussion on future plans of strengthening the arts/science collaboration in Europe.

Leibinger Innovation Prize for TOPTICA Guide Star Laser

On September 9th 2016, TOPTICA’s guide star laser SodiumStar 20/2 was rewarded with the third place of the highly prestigious Laser Research Innovation Award presented by the Berthold Leibinger Stiftung. The “Guide Star Alliance”, consisting of TOPTICA Photonics AG (Germany), MPB Communications Inc. (Canada) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), developed a novel high power laser system over a period of more than seven years serving as Guide Star for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and…

nuClock FEAT prepares for first exhibition

A few months ago, nuClock joined the FEAT initiative to explore the interplay between arts and sciences. The cooperation with artist Kerstin Ergenzinger of Berlin will come to life at the upcoming Ars Electronica exhibition in Linz, Austria. Ars Electronica is the world’s largest and most influential exhibition of digital art. Held annually since 1979, it is set up as a 4-day festival with a focus on the interface between arts, electronics, and society. The motto of this year’s meeting is “RADICAL…

ICAP 2016 in Seoul

The 25th International Conference on Atomic Physics (ICAP) is currently taking place in Seoul. This series of conferences is probably the largest, oldest, and most prestigeous series of conferences in the field of atomic & quantum physics. Held only every other year, this year's conference attracted some 500+ participants to the main conference, but also to the various satellite meetings arranged around it. The nuClock consortium is represented by four groups: PTB (Ekkehard Peik), MPQ (Thomas…

nuClock yearly meeting 2016

Already one year had passed since the start of the nuClock project, so the time was about right for the first annual meeting. Very much in the spirit of the 2015 kick-off meeting in Munich, this year's meeting, held in Brussels, featured a number of external guests from outside the consortium. nuClock was very pleased to welcome representatives of RIKEN (Japan), GSI (Germany), and NPL (UK). Monday and Tuesday of this week (July 18/19) were filled with a series of talks, nicely interlaced with delicious…