Colloquium: Nathan Newbury

    Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 3:30pm - 5:30pm
    Meinel 307

    "Searching for Applications with a Fine-Toothed Frequency Comb"


    Optical frequency combs are a remarkable new type of laser that brings entirely new capabilities in precision measurements. At its simplest level, a frequency comb provides an optical spectrum that comprises a series of repeating, equally spaced spectral lines at precisely known frequencies and is often referred to as an "optical frequency ruler." One of the initial applications of frequency combs was to support the next generation of optical clocks with fractional accuracies below 10-17. However, the utility of frequency combs is not limited to optical clocksb and they are being explored for a growing number of applications that include time-frequency transfer, precise distance measurements, low phase-noise microwave generation and precision spectroscopy. I will discuss the concept of frequency combs and our latest efforts to develop a truly fieldable frequency comb. I will also discuss several different applications we are currently pursuing with frequency combs including time-frequency transfer over the air with femtosecond precision and accurate measurements of greenhouse gases to support research on climate change.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Nathan Newbury leads the fiber source and applications project in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Quantum Electronics and Photonic Division. He received a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1992, where he co-authored a textbook on physics problems. He worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory from 1995 to 2000 and has been at NIST since 2000. His research at NIST has focused on the development and application of fiber-laser-based frequency combs. He has received the Bronze Medal, Silver Medal and Flemming Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA).