National Physical Laboratory

Optical Clocks to Test Fundamental Physics

Further Information

Published: 30 September 2010

Authors: Rachel Godun, Steven King, Stephen Webster, Guilong Huang, Helen Margolis, Stephen Lea, Patrick Gill

Related: Time & Frequency


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High-precision clocks with previously unobtainable sensitivities can be used to test the fundamental laws of the universe.

NPL is developing high-precision clocks that can be used for a future redefinition of the second and to investigate possible variation in a fundamental physical constant (the fine structure constant), which, if found, would violate Einstein's Equivalence Principle. The fine structure constant relates charge to electromagnetic radiation but some scientists doubt whether it remains a constant over space and time.

Last Updated: 15 Jul 2015
Created: 9 Mar 2011

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