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Physics > Atomic Physics

Title: Highly charged ions: optical clocks and applications in fundamental physics

Abstract: Recent developments in frequency metrology and optical clocks have been based on electronic transitions in atoms and singly charged ions as references. These systems have enabled relative frequency uncertainties at a level of a few parts in $10^{-18}$. This accomplishment not only allows for extremely accurate time and frequency measurements, but also to probe our understanding of fundamental physics, such as variation of fundamental constants, violation of the local Lorentz invariance, and forces beyond the Standard Model of Physics. In addition, novel clocks are driving the development of sophisticated technical applications. Crucial for applications of clocks in fundamental physics are a high sensitivity to effects beyond the Standard Model and Einstein's Theory of Relativity and a small frequency uncertainty of the clock. Highly charged ions offer both. They have been proposed as highly accurate clocks, since they possess optical transitions which can be extremely narrow and less sensitive to external perturbations compared to current atomic clock species. The selection of highly charged ions in different charge states offers narrow transitions that are among the most sensitive ones for a change in the fine-structure constant and the electron-to-proton mass ratio, as well as other new physics effects. Recent advances in trapping and sympathetic cooling of highly charged ions will in the future enable high accuracy optical spectroscopy. Progress in calculating the properties of selected highly charged ions has allowed the evaluation of systematic shifts and the prediction of the sensitivity to the "new physics" effects. This article reviews the current status of theory and experiment in the field.
Comments: 53 pages, 16 figures, submitted to RMP
Subjects: Atomic Physics (physics.atom-ph)
Cite as: arXiv:1803.06532 [physics.atom-ph]
  (or arXiv:1803.06532v1 [physics.atom-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Mikhail Kozlov [view email]
[v1] Sat, 17 Mar 2018 16:19:53 GMT (4039kb,D)