This week sees a symposium on frequency standards and metrology taking place in Potsdam, Germany. The symposium is held roughly every five years, always at a different locations. This year’s edition is organized by PTB in Braunschweig, namely by the chair, Fritz Riehle, and his team. The main topics of the symposium are microwave and optical clocks, as well as the comparison between clocks over ever increasing distances.
nuClock will be represented by Ekkehard Peik of PTB, delivering a talk entitled “Search for the low-energy isomer in 229Th and the nuclear optical clock”. As a second PTB contribution, Maksim Okhapkin will present a poster “Towards electronic bridge excitation of the low-energy nuclear isomer in Th-229”. Simon Stellmer of TU Wien will be substituted by Lars von der Wense and Benedict Seiferle of LMU Munich: they will present a joint TU Wien / LMU poster covering recent (and exciting !) work.
All in all, there will be some 50 talks and 110 posters spread over the entire week. The conference begins on Monday Oct. 12th with a keynote by Nobel laureat Dave Wineland. The conference website can be found here.
The nuClock family welcomes a new member: Beginning of October, Sarina Geldhof started her PhD in the group of Iain Moore at Jyväskylä University. Sarina’s work will be centered around optical laser spectroscopy of thorium. We wish her all the best and lots of fun during her thesis work: Good luck, Sarina!
The theory group of A. Pálffy (Heidelberg) proposed a new mechanism to connect between optical photons and X-rays. This interface is an optical resonator, where one of the cavity mirrors is formed by a micro-mechanical cantilever. The tip of the cantilever contains specific nuclei of interest (e.g. 229Th), which resonantly absorb X-rays in a Mössbauer-type fashion. The preprint is entitled “An Optomechanical Interface Bridging X-Ray and Optical Photons” and can be found here: arXiv:1508.06769.
The official kick-off meeting of our nuClock project is currently taking place in Munich! For two days (September 14/15), some 30 experts will discuss recent results and future experiments related to the hunt for the isomer transition. The nuClock members are joined by a number of external scientists, coming from as far as the US and China, to make nuClock the central hub of Thorium research. We are looking forward to a fruitful meeting in an enthusiastic atmosphere. After all, it’s Oktoberfest season in Munich!
Today, Prof. Noboru Sasao and Prof. Motohiko Yoshimura from Okayama University visited the Vienna group and gave a talk on an approach to measure neutrino rest masses using the isomer transition in Th-229. Discussions on future collaborations, as well as labtours at the Atominstitut, filled the day.