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Sep. 13, 2021

Hidetoshi Katori wins Breakthrough Prize

Photo of Hidetoshi Katori with his clock

Hidetoshi Katori, Team Leader of the Space-Time Engineering Research Team in the RIKEN Center for Advanced Photonics, as well as Chief Scientist of the Quantum Metrology Laboratory in the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research and professor at the University of Tokyo, has been awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, along with Jun Ye of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado, for his work in developing the optical lattice clock, a phenomenally precise type of atomic clock. The clocks developed independently by Dr. Katori’s and Dr. Ye’s teams are so accurate that two clocks would not go out of sync by even a second within the life of the universe so far. In addition to measurements of time, these clocks can be used to perform “relativistic geodesy,” meaning the measurement of heights using Einstein’s theory of relativity. The Breakthrough Prize is a prestigious set of international awards presented by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and its founding sponsors – Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki. More information is available on the website of the University of Tokyo, as well as the  Breakthrough Prizes website, including a video illustrating the work of Drs. Katori and Ye.