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New Focus to Develop Laser for Cesium Atomic Clocks

Photonics Spectra
Nov 2002
New Focus Inc. of San Jose, Calif., has agreed to develop laser technology for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Based on the company's 852-nm tunable laser technology, which is suitable for extreme environments, the next-generation laser will be used to selectively excite particular transitions of atomic cesium to produce updated high-performance frequency standards. NASA will use the laser source to "cool" the cesium atoms in an atomic clock that will be placed on the International Space Station as part of an experiment to test the predictions of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

The new technology may also have application in commercial cesium clocks.

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