Abstract

For a neutral  40Ca-based optical frequency standard we report a fractional frequency instability of 4×10-15 in 1 s, which represents a fivefold improvement over existing atomic frequency standards. Using the technique of optical Bordé–Ramsey spectroscopy with a sample of 107 trapped atoms, we have resolved linewidths as narrow as 200 Hz (FWHM). With colder atoms this system could potentially achieve an instability as low as 2×10-16 in 1 s. Such low instabilities are important for frequency standards and precision tests of fundamental physics.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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