Why you need an optical clock
The typical oscillation frequency of an optical transition is about 100.000 times higher than a microwave transition. Similar to a length measurement with a fine scale rather than a coarse scale, time measurements counting those fast optical oscillations can be orders of magnitude more precise than using microwave transitions.
Menlo Systems' complete laser systems, consisting of cw lasers referenced to optical frequency combs are a crucial element of the optical clock technology. The complete, rack-mounted FC1500-Quantum systems provide the ultrastable clock lasers, as well as all required cw lasers for preparing and reading out the clock transition.
The optical frequency combs allow for transferring the fast optical oscillations into a measurable signal without limiting the clock precision during the readout process. With an unprecedented 10-19 frequency uncertainty throughout its entire spectral range Menlo's FC1500-250-ULN is the first clockwork that guarantees highest precision standards for today’s most demanding applications including optical clocks.
Watch YouTuber Doktor Whatson's recent video about the technology of defining our universal time and how a redefinition of the SI second based on optical clocks will eventually influence our lives.
The German version of the video is available on Doktor Whatson's YouTube channel.
For further information on optical frequency combs and optical clocks download our poster "20 Years of Optical Frequency Combs":