Country for PR: Japan
Contributor: Kyodo News JBN
Tuesday, December 06 2022 - 18:00
43rd Honda Prize Awarded to Dr. Hidetoshi Katori for His Invention: Optical Lattice Clock That Loses Only 1 Second Per 30 Billion Years
TOKYO, Dec. 6, 2022 /Kyodo JBN-Asianet/ --

The Honda Foundation in Tokyo held the 43rd Honda Prize Award Ceremony on 
November 17, 2022, where it awarded this year's prize to Dr. Hidetoshi Katori, 
Professor, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (Chief 
Scientist and Team Leader, RIKEN). 


Hiroto Ishida, President of the Honda Foundation, commented, "Precise time 
measurement is becoming increasingly important in modern society. Dr. Katori's 
invention, the optical lattice clock, is able to measure height differences of 
1 cm using the relativistic effect that time moves more slowly where gravity is 
lower. We can anticipate that this will be important for disaster management, 
such as detecting volcanic magma rises, and pioneering new measurement 
technologies and research fields. In the spirit of the Honda Prize, Dr. 
Katori's accomplishment is truly remarkable."

Kazuko Matsumoto of the Honda Prize Selection Committee explained the selection 
process: "We asked 300 nominators from around the world and chose the winners 
from 27 groups of candidates from 11 countries. For selection, we considered 
not only the candidates' goals and accomplishments but also how their 
inventions can improve people's lives. Dr. Katori invented the optical lattice 
clock in 2001, which uses atoms trapped in an optical lattice to create an 
ultra-precise time standard. In contrast to the current international atomic 
time standard, cesium atomic clocks, which are accurate to about 15 digits, 
this new method can measure time to 18 digits. Dr. Katori was chosen for this 
award in recognition that the limitless possibilities of the technology fit 
with the idea behind the Honda Prize."

Dr. Katori stated, "I am honored to receive the Honda Prize. I would like to 
thank both the Honda Foundation and selection committee. After decades of 
research, it has become important for me to leave behind results that will 
benefit mankind and society. While the research began out of curiosity, as it 
developed, I hoped to share it with society. I am thankful to have found a 
research field that has inspired me for so many years."

He added, "I would like to make a smaller clock that measures in millimeters 
with 19-digit accuracy in 1,000 seconds. Along with downsizing and networking 
the clock, I have begun talking with geophysicists about targets for predicting 
volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Time measurement technology can be improved 
indefinitely, and these advancements will drive social change. Last year, I was 
asked to write the final chapter of a high school physics textbook. I imagine 
those students are now in university or working, where they are discovering 
real-world applications. I think it is time to pass the baton to the next 
generation of brilliant minds."

Dr. Katori's research on the optical lattice clock:

Dr. Hidetoshi Katori:

Official website:

Source: Honda Foundation