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Summer School on Frequency Standards, Precision and Quantum Measurement | The 9th Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology

October 2023 Recap
4 months 2 weeks ago
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The Summer School on Frequency Standards, Precision and Quantum Measurement was held on the Gold Coast on the 9–13 Oct 2023, followed by the 9th Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology, at Kingscliff on the 16-20 Oct 2023. Both events were a huge success and were chaired by UFFC IEEE Fellow, Prof. Michael Tobar.

Summer School

The summer school was targeted for students, early career researchers, and those professionals who want to learn more on the subject, with IEEE members obtaining free registration. Twelve experts from all over the world came to deliver tutorials on topics, which included, optical lattice clocks, frequency combs, optical and microwave metrology, atomic precision and quantum metrology, vapor cells, quantum sensing, time keeping, nuclear clocks, highly charged ion clocks, mathematical and statistical methods for time and frequency standards, UTC and the role of primary frequency standards, quantum metrology with photons, low noise and frequency stable oscillators, time transfer methods and molecular clocks.

Approximately 50 participants came from many parts of the world including France, USA, UK, Germany, Singapore, China and Australia. Attendees were invited to present a poster on the topic of their research on the afternoon of Wednesday the 11th of October, with awards for the best student poster and the best early career researcher poster. The excursion on Thursday 12th of October was at the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where everyone was introduced to a range of Australian animals.

The 9th Symposium on Frequency Standards and Metrology

This symposium series serves as an international discussion forum on precision frequency standards throughout the electromagnetic spectrum, and associated precision and quantum metrology. It focuses on the fundamental scientific aspects of the latest ideas, results, and applications in relation to these frequency standards and measurement techniques. 

The 9th Symposium, in view of its main theme, frequency standards and related metrology, was taking place at an historic time since metrology was subjected recently to a radical change in the definitions the SI base units. In 2019, those units were all redefined in terms of physical constants with time playing a central role, since the definition of the second, in terms of the ground state hyperfine frequency of the caesium atom, is entering in the definition of all base units (except the mole).  The Symposium remains a very important meeting, studies being made in many laboratories on optical frequency standards, which appear to be a promising activity, with the goal of replacing microwave frequency standards for a possible redefinition of the second. This would thus have a very important effect on the SI unit system.

The Symposium was a truly international event with 197 attendees from UK, Singapore, USA, France, Germany, China, Italy, Poland, Korea, Japan, Canada and Australia. The symposium included 49 invited talks from world experts, and more than 100 poster presentations. Topics included, Precision Tests on Fundamental Physics, Precision and Low Noise Signal Generation and Techniques, Molecular, Atomic, Ion, and Nuclear Clocks, Time and Frequency Transfer, Precision and Quantum Metrology with Atoms, Photons and Phonons, Miniature, Portable, and Space Systems, SI definition, Clocks, and Time Scales. The keynote presentation was presented by the winner of the 2023 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, Prof Matthew Bailes from Swinburne University Melbourne on Millisecond Radio Pulsars: Nature's clocks in the sky. This was followed by the founder of the Symposium series, Jacques Vanier, discussing the influence of frequency standards on the SI unit system.

The Symposium excursion was to tropical fruit world, which saw the attendees experience a wide range of native fruits and fauna as well as different fruits from all around the world.