Physics Club: Thorsten Schumm, Vienna University of Technology, “Towards a nuclear clock with Thorium-229”

Event time: 
Monday, February 20, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Sloane Physics Laboratory (SPL), 57 See map
217 Prospect St.
New Haven, CT 06511
(Location is wheelchair accessible)
Event description: 

The radio isotope Thorium-229 is expected to present a remarkably low-energy excited (isomer) state of the nucleus which is expected around 7.8(5) eV. It might hence be possible to directly excite the atomic nucleus with UV (laser) radiation, creating a bridge between atomic and nuclear physics. The (expected) narrow line width of the transition and the intrinsic robustness of nuclear transitions to external fields makes it a promising candidate for a new frequency standard. In this presentation we will review the current state of knowledge on the low-energy nuclear transition inThorium-229 and the ongoing quest to measure it’s exact energy.