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The nucleus of thorium-229 possesses a property that is unique among all known nuclides: It should be possible to excite it with ultraviolet light. To date, little has been known about the low-energy state of the Th-229 nucleus that is responsible for this property. Together with their colleagues from Munich and Mainz, researchers at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) have now performed the first-ever measurements – using optical methods – of some important properties of this nuclear state such as the shape of its charge distribution. In this way, a laser excitation of the atomic nucleus can be monitored, thus allowing an optical nuclear clock to be realized that “ticks” more precisely than present-day atomic clocks. The scientists have reported their results in the current issue of Nature.

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Lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic do not belong in medicinal products. International requirements for the quality of medicines have therefore become more stringent and introduced new control requirements. Hence, it makes sense to use high-accuracy reference solutions with defined contents of these four elements to be able to make the measurements traceable to the International System of Units (SI). Such reference solutions have now been produced in a joint project of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM), the Joint Research Center (JRC) Geel, the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB). Since January 2018, they are commercially available at the EDQM.

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What is PTB? And what does it do besides "make the time"? Read more in the chapter Opens internal link in current window About Us & Careers!

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People visiting PTB

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maßstäbe - the popular-science magazine of PTB

Are you already familiar with our scientific journal Opens internal link in current windowmaßstäbe? (It is available in German only.) By the way, you can subscribe to it free of charge! Or look and see which Opens internal link in current windowbrochures we have to offer which will acquaint you with the whole PTB, a part of it, or an important PTB topic.