Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Honda Foundation
Rewriting the definition of “second” by inventing an optical lattice clock that is only out of order by one second in 30 billion years. Dr. Hidetoshi Katori, Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering, the University of Tokyo, won the 43rd “Honda Prize Award
Ceremony/Commemorative Lecture” after-the-fact report.
~The evolutionary history of watches is equal to the evolutionary history of society~
The Honda Foundation (Founders: Soichiro Honda and Benjiro Brothers, Chairman: Hiroto Ishida) will hold the 43rd “Honda Award Ceremony” on November 17, 2022 (Thursday). This award was presented to Dr. Hidetoshi Katori, Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering (RIKEN Senior Researcher/Team Leader) (hereafter referred to as Dr. Katori). The 43rd award ceremony was held for the first time in three years at the Kujaku Higashi Room of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo. [Image 1
Dr. Katori, who was introduced as a laureate at the opening of the ceremony, entered with his wife, Junko, and was greeted with a big round of applause. Hiroto Ishida, Chairman of the Honda Foundation, gave a greeting from the organizer.
“Dr. Katori, congratulations on receiving the Honda Prize. The Honda Foundation was founded 45 years ago by Soichiro Honda and his brother Benjiro. We have advocated the concept of “technology” and strongly appealed to the world for its spread and development. The Honda Prize was established in 1980 as Japan’s first international award in the field of science and technology. Since then, we have honored a scientific engineer who puts the philosophy of “ecotechnology” into practice and has contributed to the world once a year. I would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to Dr. Katori as the recipient of the 43rd award.
The importance of precise time measurement is increasing year by year in modern society. Precise time measurement, such as the Global Positioning Satellite System (GMSS) mounted on satellites, the setting of reference time in electronic transactions, etc., and precision measurement in advanced technology, is an indispensable infrastructure for all activities in modern society. Dr. Hidetoshi Katori invented an optical lattice clock that achieves 1,000 times the accuracy of conventional atomic clocks. Using the relativistic effect of “time progresses slowly in low-gravity environments,” a height difference of 1 cm is measured. relativistic positioning is possible. For example, it is expected to play a major role in the evolution of disaster prevention, such as detecting the rise of volcanic magma by detecting the rise of volcanic magma, and to open up new measurement technologies and research fields. This achievement by Dr. Katori is truly a great achievement in line with the spirit of the Honda Prize. ” he praised.
Afterwards, Kazuko Matsumoto, Vice Chairman of the Honda Prize Selection Committee and Executive Director
“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Katori on receiving the 2022 Honda Award. In addition, we listen to the opinions of experts in the field of the candidates and decide the winners by conducting a careful examination by the committee.We ask for nominations every year regardless of the field of science and technology. It is extremely difficult to judge and compare the achievements of candidates in many fields.As a result of heated discussions in the committee from among 27 groups of candidates from 11 countries, we were able to decide Dr. Katori, the wonderful laureate. In the selection process, we focused on what kind of goals the candidates challenged, and how their achievements could contribute to the real lives of people all over the world, rather than being limited to mere inventions. In 2001, Dr. Katori used a large number of atoms captured in an optical lattice The cesium atomic clock currently used as the time standard for international atomic time has an accuracy of about 15 digits, but the optical atomic clock has an accuracy of about 15 digits. By using optical transitions with frequencies higher than those of waves, we were able to measure time with a higher precision of 18 digits, which is clock accuracy that would take 30 billion years to deviate by 1 second. A single-ion clock, which is a clock, measures the frequency of a single ion.It takes 100,000 times to repeat measurements that take 1 second each time to obtain an accurate frequency, so it took 10 days to measure. devised an optical lattice clock that dramatically shortened the measurement period, something no one had thought of at the time, by measuring one million atoms at once instead of taking the average of one million times. In April 2020, two miniaturized optical lattice clocks were installed at the observatory of the Tokyo Skytree. and compared them at two locations on the ground floor, and published a paper showing that the time on the observatory advances four billionths of a second faster each day, shocking the world. , which means that Einstein’s general theory of relativity was successfully verified with accuracy comparable to conventional space experiments using rockets and satellites, and was the first step in applying relativistic positioning to the real world. This demonstration experiment is highly Rated. Furthermore, Dr. Katori is currently working on further miniaturization, robustness, and practical application of optical lattice clocks. If miniaturized clocks can operate stably all the time, optical lattice clock networks can be formed by arranging them in various places, providing much more accurate time than GNSS, and detecting the distortion of space-time due to gravity. This will enable precise monitoring and exploration of the terrestrial environment, ocean, weather, and crustal deformation. The committee highly appreciates the limitless possibilities and has high expectations for the future. The starting point of ecotechnology is Soichiro Honda’s idea of ”making people happy with technology.” If we can achieve a more accurate one second, the impact on humankind will be immeasurable. The selection committee judged that the efforts of Dr. Katori, who made an epoch-making invention, are worthy of the Honda Prize, which led him to receive this award. ”, explained the reason why Dr. Katori received this award.
After that, an award ceremony was held for Dr. Katori, and President Ishida presented a certificate of merit, and Uchida, chairman of the selection committee, presented a medal. After that, the wife and daughter also went up to the stage and received a bouquet from the organizer.
Next, Mr. Fujio Shimizu, former professor of the University of Electro-Communications New Generation Laser Research Center, who was a teacher of Dr. Katori, and Mr. Makoto Gonokami, chairman of the National Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, and the chairman of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. After receiving a congratulatory address by Mr. Seiji Kuraishi, Dr. Katori gave a commemorative lecture, and the 43rd Honda Prize Presentation Ceremony came to an end.
Dr. Katori Commemorative Lecture
In commemoration of winning the Honda Prize, Dr. Katori gave a commemorative lecture on the theme of “connecting science driven by curiosity to future technology.”
At the beginning, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the people involved in the Honda Foundation and the members of the selection committee. I remembered that this was research that I had been working on in my head for nearly 30 years since I was a student.After enjoying research for 20 or 30 years, I thought, ‘I want to use this technology to leave useful results for humankind and society.’ When I started working on optical lattice clocks, I continued my research out of curiosity, and gradually the technology was completed, and I wanted to return the technology to society. I am very honored to have been able to do research that I can do.”, Dr. Katori talked about the joy of receiving this award and his thoughts on his research so far.
During the lecture, Dr. Katori talked about the invention of the optical lattice clock and its future prospects. Dr. Katori talks about the innovations that will be brought about and the future plans that Dr. Katori thinks about: “A watch that can measure 19 digits in a short period of time, such as 1000 seconds, with a faster slope using a smaller device, and a watch that can measure millimeters in terms of height. I want to make one.I’m looking forward to experimenting with new inventions that can be seen by millimeters by adding a twist to the protocol of the optical lattice clock.If I can make a target like this, a volcanic eruption will occur. We have just started discussions with geophysical researchers about what kind of specs we should have for prediction, and what kind of targets we should have for earthquake prediction. The time will come when we will be able to understand what is happening underground.There is no end to the high precision of technology that keeps track of time.With advances in time measurement technology, social change is sure to occur. This is exactly the case in today’s world where GPS navigation has been realized, and the world of self-driving cars that leads to it is already here.What kind of future will there be in relative space-time as seen by optical lattice clocks? I think it’s time to start planning.Also, last year I was asked to write the final chapter of high school physics.The high school students became university and working adults, and discovered real applications. I think the time has come to hand over the baton to young talent.”
Research on optical lattice clocks
Schematic diagram of the optical lattice (C) 2015 Hidetoshi Katori The importance of precise time measurement is increasing year by year in modern society. Precise time measurement is an indispensable infrastructure for all activities in modern society, such as the global positioning satellite system (GNSS) using atomic clocks mounted on satellites, reference time in electronic transactions, and precision measurement in advanced technology.
The International System of Units (SI) “second” is now defined based on the transitions between hyperfine levels of the cesium atom of mass number 133. The accuracy of the International Atomic Time using a cesium atomic clock (microwaves of about 9.2 GHz) is about 15 orders of magnitude, but optical atomic clocks that use optical transitions with higher frequencies than microwaves have even higher accuracy. may be realized. The most promising candidate for an optical atomic clock is the ion trap method, which traps a single charged particle cooled to near absolute zero between electrodes and repeats measurements one million times to accurately measure the frequency. rice field. Since each measurement takes 1 second, it took 1,000,000 seconds (10 days) of measurement time.
Dr. Katori came up with the idea of an optical lattice clock that dramatically shortens the measurement time by measuring one million atoms at a time instead of taking an average of one million seconds. Atoms are trapped in an optical lattice made of standing waves*1 of light, suppressing the Doppler effect caused by atomic motion, and reducing quantum noise by averaging the large number of trapped atoms. We proposed and demonstrated that by creating an optical lattice using a laser beam with a magic wavelength*2, we could construct a highly accurate atomic clock without changing the original frequency of atoms.
Because such high-precision atomic clocks are large-scale and environment-sensitive devices, they have been studied mainly in the laboratory. In April 2020, Dr. Katori’s research group installed two miniaturized optical lattice clocks in two places, one on the observation deck of Tokyo Skytree and the other on the ground floor, and compared the time on the observatory from the ground floor. He shocked the world by announcing a paper showing that he was advancing four billionths of a second faster in a single day. In this
experiment, by measuring the difference in the passage of time with high precision, Einstein’s general relative accuracy was comparable to that of conventional space experiments using rockets and artificial satellites, despite the height difference of only 450 meters. I have successfully tested the theory. This achievement was the first step toward applying relativistic positioning using a high-precision clock to the real world.
Dr. Katori is currently working on further miniaturization,
robustness, and practical application of optical lattice clocks. The volume of the device used in the Skytree experiment is about 1,000 liters, but progress is being made on the development of a small machine that reduces the volume to 1/5. If miniaturized clocks can operate stably at all times, optical lattice clock networks can be formed by arranging them in various locations. These clocks not only provide time with much higher accuracy than GNSS, but also enable precise monitoring and exploration of the environment, oceans, weather, and crustal deformation on the ground by detecting space-time distortions caused by gravity. For example, detecting crustal movements in real time may lead to earthquake prediction.
*1 Standing wave: Frequency wave with constant amplitude distribution fixed in space
*2 Magic wavelength: The wavelength at which the electric
polarizabilities of the two electronic states used for clock transitions are equal. Since the polarizability of an atom varies with its electronic state, the resulting optical shift also varies with its electronic state. As a result, in the optical lattice, the resonance frequency changes by the difference in the amount of optical shift between the two electronic states. However, when an optical trap is created with a laser beam of a magic wavelength, the electrical polarizability of the two states becomes equal, and the change in resonance frequency can be made zero.
“Dr. Hidetoshi Katori” profile
Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
National Research and Development Agency RIKEN
Senior Researcher, Katori Quantum Measurement Laboratory/
Team Leader, Spatiotemporal Engineering Research Team, Photonics Research Center Program Manager, JST-Mirai Program, Japan Science and Technology Agency birth
September 27, 1964 Japan
1988 Graduated from the Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
1990 Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Department of Applied Physics, Master’s Course
1994 The University of Tokyo Graduate School Thesis Doctorate (Engineering) work history
1991 Faculty of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
1994 Research Associate, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics, Germany 1997 Science and Technology Corporation ERATO Gonokami Collaborative Excitation Project Fundamental Group Leader
1999 Associate Professor, Department of Cooperative Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tokyo
2005 Associate Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
Principal Investigator, CREST, Strategic Basic Research Program, Japan Science and Technology Agency
2010-Present Professor, Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo
2010-2016 Japan Science and Technology Agency
2011 Invited Senior Researcher, Katori Quantum Metrology Laboratory, Advanced Research Institute, RIKEN
2014-Present Invited Senior Researcher, Katori Quantum Measurement Laboratory, RIKEN/
Team Leader, Spatiotemporal Engineering Research Team, Photonics Research Center 2014-2022 Distinguished Guest Professor, University of Tübingen, Germany 2018-present JST Future Society Creation Program Large-scale project type 「Building a spatio-temporal information infrastructure using a cloud optical lattice clock」Program Manager
2001 Marubun Research Encouragement Award
2005 European Frequency Time Forum Award Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Award
Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics
2006 Marubun Academic Special Award
Japan IBM Science Award
2008 Rabbi Prize
2010 Ichimura Academic Prize Special Award
2011 Optical and Quantum Electronics Achievement Award (Hiroshi Takuma Award) Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Commendation for Science and Technology
Philipp Franz von Siebold Award
2012 Asahi Prize
2013 Toray Science and Technology Award Fujiwara Prize Nishina Memorial Prize 2014 Medal with Purple Ribbon
2015 Japan Academy Prize
2016 Japan Society of Applied Physics Achievement Award
2017 Leo Esaki Award
2020 Hattori Hokokai 90th Anniversary Special Award Moko Quantum Award 2022 Fundamental Physics Breakthrough Award
Main members, etc.
The Physical Society of Japan, The Japan Society of Applied Physics, The Laser Society of Japan, American Physical Society, Engineering Academy of Japan
What is the Honda Prize?
The Honda Prize is Japan’s first international award in the field of science and technology, and recognizes the efforts of individuals or groups that have brought about new knowledge that can play a leading role in the next generation from the perspective of ecotechnology that harmonizes the human environment with the natural environment. It is an international award that evaluates and praises the achievement once a year.
The characteristics of the Honda Prize are not limited to scientific and technical achievements in the narrow sense of so-called new discoveries and inventions, but the whole process of discovering, applying, and sharing new possibilities related to ecotechnology. This is because it covers a wide range of academic fields related to it. Supporting top runners in science and technology who have devoted themselves to their own research and have created new value will eventually be the first step towards using that wisdom to solve the problems we face. From this perspective, the Foundation will continue to highlight achievements in various fields from a broad perspective.
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