Portrait of Andrew Ludlow

Research Interests

Our research focuses on the development of optical clocks using ultracold atomic systems. By tightly confining ytterbium in the ideal potential of a magic-wavelength optical lattice, the lattice clock pushes the frontiers of atomic timekeeping. We explore enhanced quantum control, precision measurement, extreme laser frequency stabilization, and ultra-coherent atom-light interactions to advance state-of-the-art capabilities of the NIST ytterbium lattice clock. We leverage the extreme precision of optical clock systems to explore fundamental physics, like searches for dark matter and beyond-Standard-Model physics. With quantum technologies and the development of a mobile clock apparatus, we aim to unleash the measurement power of optical clocks for new applications like mapping Earth’s geopotential via relativistic geodesy, or metrology for a next-generation definition of the SI unit of the second.