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High-Accuracy Measurement of Atomic Polarizability in an Optical Lattice Clock



Jeffrey A. Sherman, Nathan D. Lemke, Nathan M. Hinkley, M. Pizzocaro, Richard W. Fox, Andrew D. Ludlow, Christopher W. Oates


Presently, the Stark effect contributes the largest source of uncertainty in a ytterbium optical atomic clock through blackbody radiation. By employing an ultracold, trapped atomic ensemble and high stability optical clock, we characterize the quadratic Stark effect with unprecedented precision. We report the ytterbium optical clock's sensitivity to electric fields (such as blackbody radiation) as the differential static polarizability of the ground and excited clock levels: 36.2612(7) kHz (kV/cm)^-2 The clock's fractional uncertainty due to room temperature blackbody radiation is reduced an order of magnitude to 3e-17.
Physical Review Letters


Atomic measurements, blackbody radiation, clocks, electric fields, precision measurements, polarizability, Stark effect


Sherman, J. , Lemke, N. , Hinkley, N. , Pizzocaro, M. , Fox, R. , Ludlow, A. and Oates, C. (2012), High-Accuracy Measurement of Atomic Polarizability in an Optical Lattice Clock, Physical Review Letters, [online], (Accessed April 13, 2024)
Created April 13, 2012, Updated February 19, 2017