Atomic clocks

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

Interview with Ana Maria Rey, Professor Adjoint at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a fellow at NIST and JILA. Rey describes the nature of this tri-appointment, and she discusses some of the difficulties in keeping up her research during the pandemic. She recounts her childhood in Colombia and her early education in an all-girls school and her undergraduate education at the University of Los Andes in physics and the opportunities leading to her acceptance to the University of Maryland for graduate school. Rey describes joining Charles Clark’s group that was focused on modeling ultra-cold atoms, and she explains her initial work at NIST.  She explains her decision to take an initial postdoctoral position at NIST before joining ITAMP at Harvard, where she focused on developing improved models to study the behavior of atoms trapped in crystals of light. Rey describes the opportunities that led to her appointments in Colorado, and her subsequent interests in metrology, the quantum advantage, and trapping molecules. She explains how it felt to be named a MacArthur Fellow and why it is important for her to interact with experimentalists in the quest to build better atomic clocks. Rey explains her efforts to create dark matter detectors and how she hopes that her work on quantum matter will help bring about quantum computers.  She provides her perspective on how to advance diversity and inclusivity in the field, and she delineates her research interests as they pertain to basic science and applications. At the end of the interview, Rey conveys optimism that her research will make advances to the broader understanding of the quantum world.

Interviewed by
David Zierler
Interview date
Location
Video conference
Abstract

In this interview, David Zierler, Oral Historian for AIP, interviews David Wineland, Philip H. Knight Distinguished Research Chair at the University of Oregon. Wineland recounts his childhood in Denver and then Sacramento, and he describes his early interests in math and engineering. He discusses his undergraduate education at University of California Davis and then Berkeley, where Frederick Byron played a formative role in his development as a scientist, and whom he followed to Harvard for graduate school. Wineland discusses working in Norman Ramsey’s lab, and the significance of Dan Kleppner’s demonstration of the hydrogen maser. He discusses his postdoctoral research at the University of Washington where he worked with Hans Dehmelt on making accurate measurements of the electron g-factor, and the opportunities that led to his career at NIST in Boulder. He describes the excellent research environment and instrumentation that made precision measurements for clocks feasible and the important of Shor’s algorithm for his work. Wineland explains the difference of accuracy and precision as those words apply to atomic clocks, and the societal benefits of achievement improvements in this field both for land- and space-based applications. He describes the day he learned that he would receive the Nobel Prize, the collaboration he enjoyed with Serge Haroche, and his post-Nobel work in quantum information. Wineland describes his reasons for moving to the University of Oregon. At the end of the interview, Wineland assesses the current and future prospects of true quantum computing and the societal benefits that this advance could confer, and ongoing developments that can further improve atomic clocks. 

Interviewed by
Paul Forman
Interview date
Location
Harvard University, Massachusetts
Abstract

Developments of the technique of separated oscillating fields and the atomic clock. Move to Harvard University from Columbia University and Brookhaven National Laboratory; work at Harvard concentrating on the first molecular beam magnetic resonance apparatus, doctoral thesis of Harwood Kolsky; Jerrold Zacharias and the cesium beam clock; Brookhaven Molecular Beam Conferences (beginning 1947), significant developments in resonance. Also prominently mentioned are: P. I. Dee, Harwood Kolsky, Polykarp Kusch, William Aaron Nierenberg, Pendulchron, Ken Smith, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck, Robert F. Vessot, Earl Wilkie; Brookhaven National Laboratory Molecular Beam Conferences, Fort Monmouth, Frequency Control Symposium, National Science Foundation (U.S.), United States Army Signal Corps, United States National Bureau of Standards, United States Office of Naval Research, and University of California at Berkeley.

Interviewed by
Paul Holloway
Interview date
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Abstract

H. Frederick Dylla discusses topics such as: ruby laser; Bell Laboratories; RCA Engineering Research Center, Canton, New Jersey; Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier, Inc. (EG&G); Harold Edgerton; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Franklin Instiutte; Richard Feynman; Mark Zemansky; Princeton University; John King; molecular beams; atomic clocks; bachelors work on acoustics; masters research on low temperature physics; doctoral research on surface physics; Ted Madey; John Yates; Jim Murday; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; tokamaks; Sandia National Laboratories; Ray Weiss; Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); benefits of professional societies; Manfred Kaminsky; Argonne National Laboratory; AVS; Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology; National Bureau of Standards (NBS); National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST); Paul Redhead; National Research Council (NRC), Canada; Dennis Manos; College of William and Mary; John Coburn; Harold Winters; Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF); Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA); George Neil; Jefferson Laboratory; free electron lasers; Star Wars program; electron beam accelerator; linear accelerator (LINAC); Rey Whetten; American Institute of Physics.

Interviewed by
Joan Bromberg
Interview date
Location
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Abstract

Interview discusses the "delayed choice" experiment carried out in the first part of the 1980s. Also touches on Alley's relations with John Archiball Wheeler, equipment invented for the experiement or adapted for it from previous work on lunar ranging and atomic clocks, and the experiment's role as precursor to Yanhua Shih's experiments using photons apron spontaneous parametric down convers in.