Thorsten Schumm will conduct the project „Thorium Nuclear Clock“ and carry it out together with Ekkehard Peik (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, D), Marianna Safronova (University of Delaware, USA) and Peter Thirolf (Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München, D). Further members of their team are Adriana Pàlffy-Buß (Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, D) and Johannes Weitenberg (Fraunhofer ILT in cooperation with Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Advanced Photon Sources, D).
The researchers' ambition is it to develop a scientific clock that reaches a much higher precision compared to the best clocks that are operated today in some of the world’s finest laboratories. While such clocks use the electrons of an atom as the “pendulum”, the Thorium Nuclear Clock project uses the nucleus of a very special atom – Thorium-229 – for setting the rhythm. Once they get their clock working, they claim it can be employed aboard navigation satellites, it can help to synchronize networks, and it might lead astronomers to a better understanding of the universe.
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European Research Council (ERC) mit einem ERC Synergy Grant gefördert, dotiert mit 13,8 Millionen Euro.