Portable atomic clocks would work on an extremely accurate form of geo-mapping, enabling access to your location and planned route without the need for satellite signal. This takes us one step closer to seeing portable atomic clocks replacing satellite mapping, like GPS, which could happen within 20 years. This technology will changes people's everyday lives as well as potentially being applicable in driverless cars, drones and the aerospace industry. It's exciting that this development has happened here at Sussex.
Optical atomic clocks are at the pinnacle of time measuring devices, losing less than one second every ten billion years. Curently though, they are massive devices, weighing hundreds of kilograms. In order to have an optimal practical function that could be utilised by your average person, their size needs to be greatly reduced whilst retaining the accuracy and speed of the large-scale clocks.
In an optical atomic clock, the reference the pendulum in a traditional clock is directly derived by the quantum property of a single atom confined in a chamber: it is the electromagnetic field of a light beam oscillating hundreds of trillions of times per second. The clock counting element required to work at this speed is an optical frequency comb - a highly specialised laser emitting, simultaneously, many precise colours, evenly spaced in frequency.
Micro-combs bring down the dimension of frequency combs by exploiting tiny devices named optical microresonators. These devices have captured the imagination of the scientific community world-wide over the past ten years, with their promise of realising the full potential of frequency combs in a compact form. However, they are delicate devices, complex to operate and typically do not meet the requirement of practical atomic clocks.
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The breakthrough at the EPic Lab, detailed in a paper published today Monday 11 March in the journal, Nature Photonics , is the demonstration an exceptionally efficient and robust micro-comb based on a unique kind of wave called a 'laser cavity soliton'. Dr Pasquazi continues: "Solitons are special waves that are particularly robust to perturbation.
Tsunamis, for instance, are water solitons. They can travel unperturbed for incredible distances; after the Japan earthquake in some of them even reached as far as the coast of California. Our distinctive approach is to insert the chip in a laser based on optical fibres, the same used to deliver internet in our homes. The next step is to transfer this chip-based technology to fibre technology - something that we're exceptionally well-placed at the University of Sussex to achieve. Professor Marco Peccianti from the University of Sussex EPic Lab adds: "We are moving towards the integration of our device with that of the ultra-compact atomic reference or pendulum developed by Professor Matthias Keller's research group here at the University of Sussex.
Working together, we plan to develop a portable atomic clock that could revolutionise the way we count time in the future. Anna Ford EurekAlert! Astronomers see 'warm' glow of Uranus's rings A new force for optical tweezers awakens From June 25th to 27th , the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Ilmenau Germany will be presenting a new solution for acoustic quality inspection allowing contact-free, non-destructive testing of manufactured parts and components. The method which has reached Technology Readiness Level 6 already, is currently being successfully tested in practical use together with a number of industrial partners.
The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control.
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The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified. Difference of running motion by difference of shoes about swing-back velocity of driving leg immediately before foot contact on the ground.
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