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1. (WO2018225054) ATOMIC COMBINATION CLOCK
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CLAIMS

An atomic combination clock, comprising:

an atomic reference, comprising a quantum superposition of a plurality of different atomic species, wherein the atomic reference has a characteristic frequency associated with a characteristic frequency of the quantum superposition; and

a local oscillator, locked to the characteristic frequency of the atomic

reference,

wherein the different atomic species are pre-selected to have respective

susceptibilities to an environmental condition which collectively complement one another, such that the characteristic frequency of the quantum superposition of the plurality of different atomic species has a reduced susceptibility to changes in the environmental condition.

The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the atomic species are selected from a group consisting of: neutral atoms, elemental ions, neutral molecules, and molecular ions.

The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the atomic species are spatially localized with respect to one another by a feature selected from a group consisting of: an ion trap, an atomic beam, an atomic fountain, and an optical lattice.

The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the atomic species are combined in an entangled quantum state.

The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the plurality of atomic species comprises a calcium ion and an ytterbium ion.

The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the plurality of atomic species comprises a strontium ion and a mercury ion.

7. The atomic combination clock of claim 1, wherein the environmental condition is selected from a group consisting of: a magnetic field and black body radiation.

8. The atomic combination clock of claim 1, further comprising an ion trap.

9. The atomic combination clock of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of lasers respectively corresponding to each of the plurality of atomic species.

10. The atomic combination clock of claim 9, further comprising a controller, configured to control the operation of the plurality of lasers as well as the operation of the local oscillator.

11. The atomic combination clock of claim 9, wherein the plurality of lasers is tuned by an optical frequency comb.

12. A method of operating an atomic combination clock, wherein the atomic combination clock comprising a local oscillator and a plurality of different atomic species as an atomic reference, the method comprising:

initializing each of the atomic species in the plurality of different

atomic species;

combining the initialized atomic species in a quantum

superposition;

interrogating the combined atomic species at a reference frequency

that is characteristic of the quantum superposition; and

locking the local oscillator to the reference frequency to output a

corresponding clock time by translating counts of oscillator periods to time units.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising combining the plurality of different atomic species into an entangled quantum state.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein combining the plurality of different atomic species into the entangled quantum state comprises applying at least one sideband pulse from a laser.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein a single laser respectively corresponds to each of the plurality of atomic species.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the atomic species are selected from a group consisting of: neutral atoms, elemental ions, neutral molecules, and molecular ions.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein the plurality of atomic species comprises a calcium ion and an ytterbium ion.

18. The method of claim 12, wherein the plurality of atomic species comprises a strontium ion and a mercury ion.

19. The method of claim 12, further comprising detecting the state of the combined atomic species by measuring a phase difference at least one π/2 carrier pulse, wherein the phase difference is associated with the local oscillator.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising parity computation.