Method to Entangle Thousands of Atoms Could Lead to Record Clock Stability

August 19, 2016

Figure 1. Schematic of the setup. [Copyright ©2016 by the American Physical Society]

Physicists have proposed a method for entangling hundreds of atoms, and then entangling a dozen or so groups of these hundreds of atoms, resulting in a quantum network of thousands of entangled atoms. Since small bundles of these entangled groups can function as atomic clocks, this design is the first detailed proposal for a quantum network of atomic clocks.

The scientists estimate that, if realized, these clocks will have an order of magnitude greater stability than today's best atomic clocks. Superstable clocks are critical for measuring astronomical effects such as gravitational waves and, potentially, dark matter.

Grad student Peter Kómár and members of Prof. Mikhail Lukin's group, with colleagues from University of Nevada, MIT, and University of Colorado, Boulder, have published a paper on the proposed quantum network of atomic clocks in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.

Read a Feature Story by Lisa Zyga, "Method to entangle thousands of atoms could lead to record clock stability," on phys.org. Also read the original article: P. Kómár, T. Topcu, E.M. Kessler, A. Derevianko, V. Vuletić, J. Ye, and M.D. Lukin, "Quantum Network of Atom Clocks: A Possible Implementation with Neutral Atoms," Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 060506 (2016).