September 17, 2008
Quantum state engineering of ultracold matter and precise control of optical fields have allowed accurate measurement of light-matter interactions for applications in precision tests of fundamental physics. State-of-the-art lasers now maintain optical phase coherence over one second. Optical frequency combs distribute this optical phase coherence across the entire visible and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, leading to direct visualization and measurement of light ripples. An the same time, ultracold atoms confined in a carefully engineered optical lattice allow us to minimize quantum decoherence while strengthen the clock signal. For 87Sr, we achieve a resonance quality factor >2 x 1014 on the 1S0 – 3P0 doubly forbidden clock transition at 698 nm. The uncertainty of this new clock has reached 1 x 10-16 and its instability approaches 1 x 10-15 at 1 s. These developments represent a remarkable convergence of ultracold atoms, laser stabilization, and ultrafast science. Further improvements are still tantalizing, with quantum measurement and precision metrology combining forces to explore the next frontier.
Jun Ye received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1997. He was a R.A. Millikan Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology from 1997-1999. He has been a Fellow of JILA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado, since 2001. He is a Fellow of NIST, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America. His research interests include precision measurement, ultracold atoms and molecules, optical frequency metrology, and ultrafast science and quantum control. He has co-authored over 200 technical papers and has delivered over 200 invited talks. Awards and honors include I. I. Rabi Prize from the American Physical Society, Carl Zeiss Research Award, William F. Meggers Award and Adolph Lomb Medal from the Optical Society of America, Arthur S. Flemming Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, U.S. Commerce Department group Gold Medal, Friedrich Wilhem Bessel Award from Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and Samuel Wesley Stratton Award from NIST. The research group web page is http://jilawww.colorado.edu/YeLabs/.