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!

European_Comission

NEWS

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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…
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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…
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facebook 2.0

nuClock has always had a facebook page, but well... we never really used it. This has changed now! Sarina Geldhof has taken over our facebook page, which is kind of equivalent to fixing a rocket booster to your 35-year old Vespa. Visit our page, like and share what we do, and stay up to date with Sarina's (almost) daily posts!
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Two papers in two days

Two nuClock papers surfaced this week: On Monday, the conference proceedings of last year's FS&M symposium in Potsdam appeared, with a contribution by the Vienna group (link). The proceedings are free to download. Then on Tuesday, recent work on U-233 doped crystals appeared with Phys. Rev. C (link). This paper had kind of a rough start, cycling through half a dozen review rounds with nearly the same number of referees absorbed. Some of the referees' remarks were not about the content itself,…
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Global response to the recent LMU Nature paper

The recent publication on the first direct detection of the isomeric state (link to the Nature paper) was accompanied by a number of press releases, which were picked up and posted on a number of online platforms. With a delay of a few weeks, we are very pleased to find articles appearing all around the world: articles that do not just copy/paste the press releases, but reflect or comment on our work from a new perspective. Here, we will highlight two of them: 2Physics.com is a well-known blog…
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Welcome Brenden Nickerson!

The nuClock family keeps growing! Today, we welcome Brenden Nickerson to the team. Brenden joined Adriana Palffy's group in Heidelberg and will strengthen the theory support of the consortium. Good luck for your work, Brenden!
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Detection of the nuclear clock transition: Media coverage

The recent LMU publication led to a broad media coverage of our work! We will try to keep track of them: Original article and commentary: Nature article, link Nature News & Views commentary by Marianna Safronova, link Press releases: LMU press release in German and English Mainz university press release in German and English GSI press release in German and English German press: MyScience.de, link und link Welt der Physik, link Wissenschaft aktuell, link Chemie.de, link analytica-world.com,…
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First direct detection of the Th-229 isomer: LMU work published with Nature!

A giant leap in the development of a nuclear clock: the LMU group has directly observed the de-excitation of the Th-229 isomer via internal conversion. This is the first direct proof of the existence of the isomeric state. Today, this work has been published with Nature. Let's look at the experiment more closely: The naive way to prove the existence of the isomeric state in Th-229 would be a detection of the VUV gamma that is emitted as the isomer decays into the ground state. This approach has…