New atomic clock doesn't lose a second for 15 billion years

Physicists have invented a new atomic clock that is the most accurate clock ever invented. According to the team of scientists that have worked on the clock, it won't gain or lose a second over 15 billion years. The record setting timepiece is an optical lattice clock that uses strontium atoms and is three times more accurate than the clock that held the previous record.

With the invention of the new clock, scientists are a step closer to replacing the current standard in timekeeping, the caesium fountain clock. That clock is used to set the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is the official world time. The reason accurate time is so important is that accuracy with time is crucial to things like satellite navigation systems, mobile phones, and digital TVs.

The team thinks that super accurate time may also help usher in breakthroughs in frontiers like quantum science. Since 1967, the official unit of time for the entire world, the second, has been determined by the vibration of the element Caesium 133.

Currently the Caesium fountain clock is accurate to within one second over 100 million years. The new atomic clock measures time by detecting the natural vibrations or strontium atoms in red laser light according to the team. The new clock has stability improved by nearly 50% compared to the old clock. The clock is also accurate enough to measure tiny changes in the passage of time at different altitudes.

SOURCE: The Guardian