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Millions in funding for clock project


Für die Entwicklung einer völlig neuen Atomuhr haben PTB-Forscher zusammen mit internationalen Kollegen einen prestigeträchtigen Synergy Grant des europäischen Forschungsrates ERC eingeworben. Ziel des Projektes, das für sechs Jahre mit insgesamt 13,8 Millionen Euro gefördert wird, ist die Entwicklung eines völlig neuen Typs Atomuhr:

PTB᾽s researchers, together with international colleagues, have secured a prestigious Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of an entirely new atomic clock. The aim of the project, which will be funded with a total of 13.8 million euros for six years, is to develop a completely new type of atomic clock: a thorium nuclear clock. It could be significantly more precise than all the previous caesium clocks and – also – than all the previous optical atomic clocks. That promises advantages for precision time and frequency measurement applications and for fundamental physics research.


In addition to PTB, scientists from Vienna, Munich, Delaware (USA), Heidelberg and Aachen are participating in the interdisciplinary and international ”Thorium Nuclear Clock“ project.

The Synergy Programme of the European Research Council (ERC) is the highest endowed research funding of the ERC and is especially focussed on topics with great potential for innovation which require collaboration between different fields such as in this case atomic and nuclear physics, laser physics and theoretical physics.

(Contact: Ekkehard Peik, Department 4.4 ”Time and Frequency“, +49 (0)531 592-4400, Opens window for sending emailekkehard.peik(at)ptb.de)