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Title: Quantum limit on time measurement in a gravitational field
Authors: Sinha, Supurna
Samuel, J.
Keywords: Time keeping
quantum limit
gravitational field
Issue Date: 8-Jan-2015
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd.
Citation: Classical and Quantum Gravity, 2015, Vol.32, p015018
Abstract: Good clocks are of importance both to fundamental physics and for applications in astronomy, metrology and global positioning systems. In a recent technological breakthrough, researchers at NIST have been able to achieve a stability of one part in 1018 using an ytterbium clock. This naturally raises the question of whether there are fundamental limits to time keeping. In this article we point out that gravity and quantum mechanics set a fundamental limit on the fractional frequency uncertainty of clocks. This limit comes from a combination of the uncertainty relation, the gravitational redshift and the relativistic time dilation effect. For example, a single ion aluminium clock in a terrestrial gravitational field cannot achieve a fractional frequency uncertainty better than one part in 1022. This fundamental limit explores the interaction between gravity and quantum mechanics on a laboratory scale.
Description: Restricted Access. An open-access version is available at (one of the alternative locations)
ISSN: 0264-9381
1361-6382 (E)
Alternative Location:
Copyright: 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Appears in Collections:Research Papers (TP)

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