New Optical Clock Promises Increased Accuracy

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billslugg

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<p>From <font color="#0000ff">NIST</font> we find a new optical clock "...that promises to be the world&rsquo;s most accurate. The clock is accurate to one part in 10<sup>-17</sup>, which means it cannot lose or gain a second in more than one billion years."</p><p>It uses an Aluminum atom, hit by laser light. Aluminum is more resistant to electric and magnetic fields than the current standard, mercury. The problem has been that aluminum is hard to read out. So they put a beryllium atom in a trap next to it and transferred the aluminum atom's state to the beryllium atom, which was then read out.&nbsp;</p><p>We are rapidly closing in on a clock that will not lose a second over the age of the universe. In that case it may be necessary to make the second smaller, so that the new clocks will have something to lose, and improvements in accuracy can continue.;)</p><p>Bill Slugg, Albany, GA&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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