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This Quantum Clock Is 100,000 Times More Accurate Than the Atomic Clock
What are possible uses for The Worlds Most Accurate Clock?
Possibly a Time Machine?

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As Make puts it, the atomic clock is old and busted. The quantum-logic clock from National Institute of Standards and Technology, keeping time 100,000 times more accurately than its predecessor, is definitely the new hotness.

The quantum clock, developed by physicist Chin-wen Chou of the NIST, keeps time by measuring the energy of a single aluminum ion with UV lasers. It loses one second every 3.4 billion years, compared to the cesium fountain clock which loses a second every 100 million years, and upon which the current international standard is based.

In fact, the new quantum-logic clock is so precise that Chou's team can't even measure it, as the current definition of a second is based on the prevailing cesium clock.

Don't get too excited about setting your life to a more precise clock just yet: there are currently no plans to adopt the quantum clock as the international standard. But with potential applications ranging from use in more precise GPS devices to answering questions about the speed of light and Einsteinian relativity, this clock is still a serious tick into the future. [Wired via Make]

Send an email to Kyle VanHemert, the author of this post, at kvanhemert@gizmodo.com.

asked Jul 28 '10 at 00:12

r0bErT4u's gravatar image



Wait, is this lockergnome.com (blogging) or lockergnome.net (Q&A)? Do you have permission to be redistributing this?

(Jul 28 '10 at 05:08) Seb Seb's gravatar image

"It loses one second every 3.4 billion years, compared to the cesium fountain clock which loses a second every 100 million year". Why would we need to worry losing A second every 100 million years? It's hard enough keeping track of seconds every day. Geez don't these guys have anything better to spend research grants on?

answered Jul 28 '10 at 04:58

Geenome's gravatar image


Suppose you had a 3.4 billion year warranty on a item and on the last day, it failed and in just seconds, the online RMA page void your warranty. on the last second, you click submit. If it was on the older clocks, it may be a few seconds off and your warranty may be voided even though 3.4 billion years have not passed yet. so you will want to have a more accurate clock.

(Jul 28 '10 at 05:32) Razor512 Razor512's gravatar image

I don't get what your saying...does anyone else?

(Aug 18 '10 at 21:07) IamTechCrazy IamTechCrazy's gravatar image
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Asked: Jul 28 '10 at 00:12

Seen: 986 times

Last updated: Aug 18 '10 at 21:07