How optical clocks could solve science’s biggest conundrum

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A contradiction at the heart of all physics could soon be solved with laser technology that can also transmit high-definition pictures from the Moon – new technology being developed in Perth, Western Australia. Soon, and for the first time, optical clocks will test gravitational time-dilation at unprecedented levels and potentially resolve the conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Sascha is the leader of the Astrophotonics Group at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Perth. Whilst constructing the Phase Synchronisation System for the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope, he also works on a space science project developing ultra-precise laser timing links to support the next generation of pioneering space missions. This includes establishing a ground-to-space laser timing link between the Western Australian Optical Ground Station and the first space-based optical clock, due to launch to the International Space Station in 2024.

Presented at Space on September 1st, 2021.

Dr Sascha Schediwy
Academic of the Year, 2021 Australian Space Awards

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