A “phase clock” as high-precision atomic scale

Imaging of rotating ions increases the precision of mass measurements of unstable nuclei

The mass measurement of very short-lived radioactive nuclides is a challenging task in nuclear physics. An established technique is the trapping of radioactive nuclides as single ions in Penning traps and the determination of the ion mass with high precision from a measurement of its rotation frequency. In case of short-lived nuclides there is only little time left to measure this rotation frequency, thus a novel method was recently developed: the amplified cyclotron motion itself is imaged, which leads to a 40-fold increase in the resolving power and a fivefold gain for the precision.

Please read more about the realization of this novel method by members of the MATS collaboration at the SHIPTRAP facility at GSI in the article of S. Eliseev et al. and the NUSTAR Newsletter 1/2013.



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