Frequency comparison of two high-accuracy Al+ optical clocks.

Research paper by C W CW Chou, D B DB Hume, J C J JC Koelemeij, D J DJ Wineland, T T Rosenband

Indexed on: 07 Apr '10Published on: 07 Apr '10Published in: Physical review letters


We have constructed an optical clock with a fractional frequency inaccuracy of 8.6x10{-18}, based on quantum logic spectroscopy of an Al+ ion. A simultaneously trapped Mg+ ion serves to sympathetically laser cool the Al+ ion and detect its quantum state. The frequency of the {1}S{0}<-->{3}P{0} clock transition is compared to that of a previously constructed Al+ optical clock with a statistical measurement uncertainty of 7.0x10{-18}. The two clocks exhibit a relative stability of 2.8x10{-15}tau{-1/2}, and a fractional frequency difference of -1.8x10{-17}, consistent with the accuracy limit of the older clock.