Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 533 (7601), 47-51

Direct Detection of the (229)Th Nuclear Clock Transition

Affiliations

Direct Detection of the (229)Th Nuclear Clock Transition

Lars von der Wense et al. Nature.

Abstract

Today's most precise time and frequency measurements are performed with optical atomic clocks. However, it has been proposed that they could potentially be outperformed by a nuclear clock, which employs a nuclear transition instead of an atomic shell transition. There is only one known nuclear state that could serve as a nuclear clock using currently available technology, namely, the isomeric first excited state of (229)Th (denoted (229m)Th). Here we report the direct detection of this nuclear state, which is further confirmation of the existence of the isomer and lays the foundation for precise studies of its decay parameters. On the basis of this direct detection, the isomeric energy is constrained to between 6.3 and 18.3 electronvolts, and the half-life is found to be longer than 60 seconds for (229m)Th(2+). More precise determinations appear to be within reach, and would pave the way to the development of a nuclear frequency standard.

Comment in

Similar articles

  • Observation of the deexcitation of the (229m)Th nuclear isomer.
    Zhao X, Martinez de Escobar YN, Rundberg R, Bond EM, Moody A, Vieira DJ. Zhao X, et al. Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Oct 19;109(16):160801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.160801. Epub 2012 Oct 18. Phys Rev Lett. 2012. PMID: 23215066
  • Laser spectroscopic characterization of the nuclear-clock isomer 229mTh.
    Thielking J, Okhapkin MV, Głowacki P, Meier DM, von der Wense L, Seiferle B, Düllmann CE, Thirolf PG, Peik E. Thielking J, et al. Nature. 2018 Apr;556(7701):321-325. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0011-8. Epub 2018 Apr 18. Nature. 2018. PMID: 29670266
  • Energy of the 229Th nuclear clock transition.
    Seiferle B, von der Wense L, Bilous PV, Amersdorffer I, Lemell C, Libisch F, Stellmer S, Schumm T, Düllmann CE, Pálffy A, Thirolf PG. Seiferle B, et al. Nature. 2019 Sep;573(7773):243-246. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1533-4. Epub 2019 Sep 11. Nature. 2019. PMID: 31511684
  • X-ray pumping of the 229Th nuclear clock isomer.
    Masuda T, Yoshimi A, Fujieda A, Fujimoto H, Haba H, Hara H, Hiraki T, Kaino H, Kasamatsu Y, Kitao S, Konashi K, Miyamoto Y, Okai K, Okubo S, Sasao N, Seto M, Schumm T, Shigekawa Y, Suzuki K, Stellmer S, Tamasaku K, Uetake S, Watanabe M, Watanabe T, Yasuda Y, Yamaguchi A, Yoda Y, Yokokita T, Yoshimura M, Yoshimura K. Masuda T, et al. Nature. 2019 Sep;573(7773):238-242. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1542-3. Epub 2019 Sep 11. Nature. 2019. PMID: 31511686
  • Mass and lifetime measurements of exotic nuclei in storage rings.
    Franzke B, Geissel H, Münzenberg G. Franzke B, et al. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2008 Sep-Oct;27(5):428-69. doi: 10.1002/mas.20173. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2008. PMID: 18636527 Review.
See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

References

    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Apr 22;106(16):162501 - PubMed
    1. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 27;5:15580 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jun 3;106(22):223001 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Jul 5;111(1):018901 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev C Nucl Phys. 1990 Aug;42(2):R499-R501 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback