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Scientists from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) have enabled precise optical measurements of highly charged ions by isolating a single highly charged ion from an extremely hot plasma and bringing it almost to rest inside an ion trap, along with a laser-cooled, singly charged ion. The physicists used quantum logic spectroscopy on the ion pair to increase the relative precision of their measurements by a factor of a hundred million over previous methods.
To date, scientists have not been able to apply established measurement techniques, such as those used with optical clocks, to highly charged ions. The main obstacle manifests even before measurement can begin….READ MORE