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!




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,…

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…

Radiochemistry meeting in Vienna

We are currently preparing for an informal workshop concerning the radiochemistry of thorium and uranium isotopes. The workshop will be held on April 28 in Vienna, mainly featuring scientists from the NPL radiochemistry group (UK) and the Atominstitut in Vienna. Please contact us if you would like to join!

Thorium on steroids: A new proposal by E.V. Tkalya

Many research groups around the world try to get an “optical” handle on the Th-229 isomeric state, but it turns out that the detection of optical photons emitted upon de-excitation of the isomer is no mean feat. As an alternative, one might shift gears and aim to detect the electron that is emitted during internal conversion (IC) of the isomer. Such an approach has been suggested by the LMU group at last week’s DPG conference in Darmstadt, Germany. The IC electron would have a kinetic energy…

nuClock on air

What an exciting day for nuClock: Following his talk at the DPG Spring Meeting in Hamburg, Lars von der Wense of LMU Munich made an appearance on radio Deutschlandfunk. He was interviewed in a science show and explained the concepts, prospects, and applications of a nuclear clock. The interview is in German, and the audio file can be found here. According to a recent media analysis, more than 6 million people regularly tune in to radio Deutschlandfunk. Congratulations to Lars! Also today, Jun…

Upcoming conferences: Meet the nuClock people!

You would love to meet some of the nuClock folks in person? This is where you will get a chance: DPG Frühjahrtagung in Hannover, Feb. 29 - March 04, 2016  (AMO physics) Talks: Mo, 11:00     MS 1.1    "Towards a nuclear clock: On the direct detection of the Thorium-229 isomer" by Lars von der Wense (Peter G. Thirolf's group at LMU Munich) Mo, 16:00     A 7.5     "Performance and readout of state-of-the-art MMC detector arrays" by D. Hengstler (Christian Enss' group at KIP Heidelberg) Thu,…