New paper on collective effects in Thorium-doped crystals

Brenden, Wen-Te, and Adriana of MPIK in Heidelberg have released a new paper investigating collective effects that could occur in Thorium doped crystals when excited by narrow-band coherent pulses. Here’s the link to the paper. A variety of schemes are discussed with the goal of creating unique signatures of excitation which can be used to determine the detuning of the exciting laser pulses from 229Th nuclear transition energy. Other details such as multi pulsed excitation, pulse shape, phase shifting, static magnetic fields and quantization axis are discussed to give a comprehensive understanding of the possibilities when tackling such a project.

A personal note from the nuClock coordinator: This work fulfills the last formal deliverable for EU reporting, rejoice!

Theoretical and experimental work leads to a redetermination of the Th-229 isomer charge radius

Marianna Safronova and colleagues from the Univ. of Delaware and from the Kurchatov Institute in St. Petersburg have performed new atomic structure calculations for Th+and Th2+that are used to relate measured spectroscopic isotope shifts to differences of the nuclear charge radii. Such calculations are notoriously difficult for these thorium ions because of strong configuration mixing of the electrons. Combined with experimental data on isotope shifts in Th+from 227Th to 232Th, measured at KfK Karlsruhe in 1989, and the recent results on isotope shifts of Th2+obtained by PTB and LMU within nuclock, they provide a more reliable picture of the thorium nuclear charge radii, including an improved value for the radius change between 229Th and the229mTh isomer: Excitation to the isomeric state increases the charge radius by less than 0.02%. The work is published in Physical Review Letters.


Adriana Pálffy-Buß is awarded the prestigeous Herta-Sponer-Prize from the German Physical Society (DPG) for her pathfinding reasearch on quantum effects in the interaction of atomic nuclei with X-ray pulses. Here‘s the link to the press release. Congratulations Adriana!

Tomas Sikorsky joins TU Wien Thorium Team

Starting with October 22., Tomas Sikorsky is enforcing the TU Wien Thorium team. Tomas has worked on NMR during his masters and on ion collisions with ultra cold gasses during his PhD in the team of Roee Ozeri at Weizmann. In Vienna, he will establish detection of the Thorium isomer via nuclear quadrupole resonance spectroscopy (NQRS). Welcome Tomas!

Lars von der Wense wins DPG thesis prize

Every year, the German Physics Society (DPG) offers a PhD thesis prize for each of its sections. This year, Lars von der Wense of LMU Munich was awarded the thesis prize in the section “Matter and Cosmos”. Congratulations to Lars, his supervisor Peter G. Thirolf, and the whole team at LMU for this prestigious recognition!