Demonstration of 4.8 × 10−17 stability at 1 s for two independent optical clocks

E. Oelker*, R. B. Hutson, C. J. Kennedy, L. Sonderhouse, T. Bothwell, A. Goban, D. Kedar, C. Sanner, J. M. Robinson, G. E. Marti, D. G. Matei, T. Legero, M. Giunta, R. Holzwarth, F. Riehle, U. Sterr, J. Ye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Optical atomic clocks require local oscillators with exceptional optical coherence owing to the challenge of performing spectroscopy on their ultranarrow-linewidth clock transitions. Advances in laser stabilization have thus enabled rapid progress in clock precision. A new class of ultrastable lasers based on cryogenic silicon reference cavities has recently demonstrated the longest optical coherence times to date. Here we utilize such a local oscillator with two strontium (Sr) optical lattice clocks to achieve an advance in clock stability. Through an anti-synchronous comparison, the fractional instability of both clocks is assessed to be 4.8×10-17∕τ for an averaging time τ (in seconds). Synchronous interrogation enables each clock to average at a rate of 3.5×10-17∕τ, dominated by quantum projection noise, and reach an instability of 6.6 × 10−19 over an hour-long measurement. The ability to resolve sub-10−18-level frequency shifts in such short timescales will affect a wide range of applications for clocks in quantum sensing and fundamental physics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalNature Photonics
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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