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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 May 4;108(18):183004. Epub 2012 May 4.

Neutral atom frequency reference in the deep ultraviolet with fractional uncertainty = 5.7×10(-15).

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  • 1LNE-SYRTE, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014, Paris, France.


We present an assessment of the (6s2) (1)S0 ↔ (6s6p)(3)P0 clock transition frequency in 199Hg with an uncertainty reduction of nearly 3 orders of magnitude and demonstrate an atomic quality factor Q of ∼10(14). The 199Hg atoms are confined in a vertical lattice trap with light at the newly determined magic wavelength of 362.5697±0.0011  nm and at a lattice depth of 20E(R). The atoms are loaded from a single-stage magneto-optical trap with cooling light at 253.7 nm. The high Q factor is obtained with an 80 ms Rabi pulse at 265.6 nm. We find the frequency of the clock transition to be 1,128,575,290,808,162.0±6.4(syst)±0.3(stat)  Hz (i.e., with fractional uncertainty=5.7×10(-15)). Neither an atom number nor second order Zeeman dependence has yet been detected. Only three laser wavelengths are used for the cooling, lattice trapping, probing, and detection.

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