[time-nuts] Coming to a drive-way near you: Optical Lattice clocks

Bob Camp kb8tq at n1k.org
Fri Feb 24 07:15:46 EST 2017


> On Feb 24, 2017, at 5:02 AM, Michael Wouters <michaeljwouters at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 10:27 AM, Bob Camp <kb8tq at n1k.org> wrote:
>> Hi
>> I agree with their premise that to be useful you need transportable clocks. I’m not quite sure
>> that something the size (and weight) of a pickup truck is really transportable. Yes one can
>> move it around (unlike a small mountain)  …. Transporting something like that from here to
>> Europe and back *would* make the charges FedEx comes up with on a  40Kg box look
>> cheap though :)
>> Bob
> I suspect that it's really only meant to be driven around to labs in
> Europe with optical clocks, like LNE-SYRTE and NPL.
> I think that you would repack it if you were shipping it overseas.
> My one experience of something remotely like this was delivery of our
> frequency comb (two full-height 19 inch racks plus the laser on a
> large breadboard) from Germany to Australia. It was all working the
> same day it was unpacked. But no UHV system of course.

It’s the things like keeping vacuum systems running that while it’s possible, is not trivial. 
I sort of wonder if “transportation” involves one person driving the truck and two people
riding in back as “minders” for all the gear.

This is indeed cool stuff. Their clock is amazing. I’d love to have one. It’s still a massive
piece of gear. 


> The Chinese one is a bit simpler: it's a single-ion Paul trap, rather
> than a lattice clock. Probably less control electronics are needed
> too, so maybe it's a bit more mobile.
> Cheers
> Michael
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