Nuclear clocks based on resonant excitation of gamma-transitions

We review the ideas and concepts for a clock that is based on a radiative transition in the nucleus rather than in the electron shell. This type of clock offers advantages like an insensitivity against field-induced systematic frequency shifts and the opportunity to obtain high stability from interrogating many nuclei in the solid state. Experimental work concentrates on the low-energy (about 8 eV) isomeric transition in 229Th. We review the status of the experiments that aim at a direct optical observation of this transition and outline the plans for high-resolution laser spectroscopy experiments.