NIST/JILA Fellow Jun Ye Wins Breakthrough Prize in Basic Physics

NIST/JILA physicist Jun Ye

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R. Jacobson/NIST

BOULDER, Colo. — Physicist Jun Ye of the U.S. Division of Commerce’s Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Expertise (NIST) has been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Basic Physics for his pioneering analysis on atomic clocks.

Ye has been a physicist at JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the College of Colorado Boulder, for greater than 20 years. 

The prize choice committee cited him for “excellent contributions to the invention and growth of the optical lattice clock, which allows precision assessments of the elemental legal guidelines of nature.”

“We’re extraordinarily proud to have Jun Ye on our employees and to have him acknowledged with a Breakthrough Prize,” mentioned James Okay. Olthoff, who’s presently performing the nonexclusive features and duties of the underneath secretary of commerce for requirements and know-how and director, NIST. “Jun has been conducting trailblazing physics since he arrived at JILA within the late Nineteen Nineties, as a pupil of Nobel laureate Jan Corridor. Jun discovered modern methods to use the frequency comb that Jan helped to develop, shattering data for the precision of atomic clocks and taking molecular chemistry to new ultracold frontiers with the late Debbie Jin. Contemplating his previous accomplishments, we all know he’ll obtain many different breakthroughs.”

Ye will obtain $1.5 million, half of the $3 million physics prize. Hidetoshi Katori of the College of Tokyo will obtain the opposite half of the prize for his work on atomic clocks. 

Optical clocks are so named as a result of they function at optical frequencies, that are a lot increased and subsequently allow extra exact timekeeping than the microwave frequencies in immediately’s timekeeping requirements.

Ye’s clocks use lasers to chill strontium atoms to billionths of a level above absolute zero and entice them in grids of laser mild referred to as optical lattices. (See an animation of how the clocks work.) Ye’s clocks are so exact that they’d neither acquire nor lose one second in some 15 billion years, roughly the age of the universe. Strontium is among the many main candidate atoms to switch the cesium that’s presently used to outline the worldwide normal of time, the SI second.

Atomic clocks are essential to GPS and superior communications, however Ye’s clocks can lengthen the purposes to make precision measurements of gravity, movement, magnetic fields and lots of different portions based mostly on tiny modifications within the atoms’ “ticking” charge between two vitality ranges.

Ye has beforehand been acknowledged with many different worldwide scientific awards, together with election to the Nationwide Academy of Sciences; 4 Division of Commerce Gold Medals; the Presidential Rank Award; the Meggers Award of the Optical Society; the I.I. Rabi Award by the IEEE Frequency Management Symposium; and the American Bodily Society’s Norman F. Ramsey Prize and I.I. Rabi Prize. 

Ye holds 4 patents based mostly on distinctive laser applied sciences and has revealed 380 refereed analysis publications, greater than 100 of them in essentially the most prestigious worldwide journals for physics, together with Science, Nature and Bodily Evaluate Letters. His work has been cited greater than 50,000 occasions — an exceptionally massive quantity for physicists — and he has offered over 600 invited talks the world over.

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