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An experiment with atomic clocks

  1. Nov 9, 2011 #1
    Let say we would like to perform such experiment:

    Let we have 2 small/mobile atomic clocks on a hard rod.
    Distance between clocks about 2 meters.

    There is no any electrical wire connections between these two clocks for synchronization.
    This is important for this experiment.
    The clocks themselves must have necessary accuracy and stability
    during the time of the experiment. Lets say during a few minutes.

    Both clocks have light emitter (L1 and L2)
    and there is some receiver R in the middle of the rod.

    Periodically both clocks sends short light impulses to the receiver.
    We may adjust frequency of (AC1) so that [R] would see/measure
    equal frequency of light impulses coming from both sides.

    Now we may adjust position of the receiver [R] so that both impulses would come simultaneously.
    So that [R] will not see any phase shift between light impulses.

    Now lets put some very tiny plate |P| between [L1] and [R]
    so that it would generate light delay about 10^-13 seconds.

    I need info about equipment capable to detect such delay.
    Is it realistic to achieve such accuracy with currently available equipment?
    What biggest problems may arise here?

    Thank you in advance for your minds.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2011 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, it should be possible. There are probably a few ways of doing it, the most obvious would be to use an interferometric setup.

    That said, the difficulty of this experiment depends a great deal on whether or not whether or not you want a single shot measurement (i.e. detect the shift in a single pulse).
  4. Nov 10, 2011 #3
    This setup has another purpose than just measure delay due some plate [P]
    But this plate [P] can be used to test the accuracy.
    Just by varying [P] we may find what is the smallest delay the whole setup is capable to detect.

    Usual interferometers like Mickelson's may well measure delay inside [P],
    but they are not useful for the main purpose I have in my minds.

    The main purpose would be to place such apparatus on a satellite to measure possible ether drift.
    Although Mickelson's interferometer is more precise for measuring delay inside [P],
    it is completely valueless in case if we are going to measure ether drift
    and if exist real contraction predicted by H. Lorenz.

    Setup with two atomic clocks is the only one I was able to find on Internet
    which is not sensitive for such Lorenz contractions if they are real.

    Please say if you know more.

    Therefor would be interesting to know do already exist suitable equipment for such experiment?
    Like you see here it is no strict requirement to relay on a single pulse. The results may be calculated from many pulses.
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