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TIME FOR A NUCLEAR CLOCK

UD physicist Marianna Safronova and collaborators have won a highly competitive “Synergy Grant” from the European Research Council to develop nuclear clock technology. The grant is worth more than $15 million over six years.

The atomic clocks that give extraordinary precision to the Global Positioning System (GPS) are based on transitions between energy states of atoms. Many advances have been made since the launch of the GPS satellites and the best world clock is now accurate to within one second every 30 billion years.

Now a four-investigator team that includes University of Delaware physicist Marianna Safronova has won a prestigious “Synergy Grant” from the European Research Council to build a new type of clock — the nuclear clock. She joins a team of pioneers in the field — Thorsten Schumm of Vienna University of Technology, Ekkehard Peik of Physicaklisch-Technishe Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig and Peter Thirolf of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. 

 

Article by Beth Miller Illustration by Jeffrey C. Chase | Photo by Ariel Ramirez November 06, 2019