A proposed new clock will be the most accurate ever created by mankind - losing or gaining less than 1/20th of a second every 14 billion years
A proposed new clock will be the most accurate ever created by mankind - losing or gaining less than 1/20th of a second every 14 billion years.
The universe itself is around 14 billion years old - so had we been armed with one of these since the moment of the Big Bang, we would still be on time for work.
It's 100 times more accurate even than the best atomic clocks today, which are used to 'set' the time for mobile phone networks and GPS systems around the world.
The clock would use a new technology where the 'pendulum' is a neutron inside an atom, rather than the electrons around it, which allows for greater precision.
'This is nearly 100 times more accurate than the best atomic clocks we have now,’ says Professor Victor Flambaum of the University of Nevada – UNSW.
'It would allow scientists to test fundamental physical theories at unprecedented levels of precision and provide an unmatched tool for applied physics research.’
'With these clocks currently pushing up against significant accuracy limitations, a next-generation system is desired to explore the realms of extreme measurement precision unreachable by atomic clocks,’ says Professor Flambaum.
'Atomic clocks use the orbiting electrons of an atom as the clock pendulum. But we have shown that by using lasers to orient the electrons in a very specific way, one can use the orbiting neutron of an atomic nucleus as the clock pendulum, making a so-called nuclear clock with unparalleled accuracy.’
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