Project: International timescales with optical clocks

Accurate time underpins many everyday technologies, particularly in the areas of communications and navigation. A redefinition of the second in terms of an optical frequency will help improve accuracy further, but a number of challenges remain before this can be achieved. Improved methods for comparing the frequencies of optical clocks constructed in different laboratories are needed to help build confidence. Scientists will also need to improve evaluations of the effects of Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and in particular the local effects that gravity has on each clock due to the very high levels of stability and accuracy demonstrated by the clocks. This project will help prepare for a future redefinition of the second, by addressing these challenges, and provide the scientific community with a basis for tests of fundamental physical theories. By demonstrating the performance of optical clocks, it will also benefit fundamental science in space such as the ACES (Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space) mission, due for launch in 2015.

Acronym SIB55 ITOC (Reference Number: SIB55)
Duration 01/05/2013 - 30/04/2016
Project Topic Metrology
Project Results
(after finalisation)
See Website
Website visit project website
Network EMRP
Call EMRP Call 2012 - Industry, SI Broader Scope and Open Excellence

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 NPL Management Limited Coordinator United Kingdom
2 Cesky Metrologicky Institut Partner Czech Republic
3 Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica Partner Italy
4 Laboratoire national de métrologie et d'essais Partner France
5 Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy Partner Finland
6 Observatoire de Paris Partner France
7 Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt Partner Germany
8 Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover Germany