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Colloquium

Towards laser spectroscopy of nuclei

Thorsten Schumm

10:30-11:30

The radio isotope Thorium-229 is expected to present a remarkably low-energy excited (isomer) state of the nucleus which is expected around 7.8(5) eV. It might hence be possible to directly excite the atomic nucleus with UV (laser) radiation, creating a bridge between atomic and nuclear physics. The (expected) narrow line width of the transition and the intrinsic robustness of nuclear transitions to external fields makes it a promising candidate for a new frequency standard. In this presentation we will review the current state of knowledge on the low-energy nuclear transition in Thorium-229 and the ongoing quest to measure it’s exact energy.