WILLIAMS REGIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON DC
invites Williams alumni, parents, and guests to attend a talk entitled
Where am I? Cold atoms, super accurate clocks and navigation
Professor Kevin Jones '77
William Edward McElfresh Professor of Physics
Date & Time
Monday, May 22nd, 5:30 p.m.
The front door to the building will be locked at 6pm.
If you arrive after 6pm, please call 202-719-9999 to get into the building
This event has reached capacity. To be put on a wait list,
please email Mike Miller at MDMiller@HealthPolCom.com
Monument Policy Group
1100 G St NW #750
Entrance to building is on 11th Street
Light food and drinks provided
There is a rich history to the question of finding out just where one is on the earth. In the age of sail accurate navigation became a pressing matter of state concern spurring investment in national astronomical observatories and lucrative prizes for solving "the longitude problem.” The key technological hurdle was devoting sufficiently accurate mechanical clocks which could function aboard a ship. The current state of the art in navigation is the familiar GPS system which also relies on clocks, in this case super accurate atomic clocks which gain or lose fractions of a second in a million years. An important technological breakthrough in making current master clocks was developing the ability to cool atoms to extremely low temperatures, much colder than deep space. In this talk, Professor Jones will sketch some of the history of the connection between timekeeping and navigation.
Prof. Jones interest in atomic clocks started when he was an undergraduate at Williams, working with Prof. Stuart Crampton in the hydrogen maser laboratory. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University, and has been invited to give a talk at the Williams at Mystic program about the historical connection between timekeeping and navigation.