Thursday, 11 July 2013

Wait, just a...second?

The familiar phrase 'wait a sec.'. could potentially be redefined.

Stop, the clocks! 

Scientists have developed a new clock which is far more accurate than the clocks in use now, thus altering the length of time periods (seconds, minutes and hours) as we know it.

The current clocks are atomic. They expose caesium atoms to microwaves causing them to swing back and forth at regular intervals. This type of clock has been the most accurate method of time keeping since the 1960s.

The new clock on the block is the optical lattice clock, which loses 1 second every 300 million years, which makes it 3 times more accurate than the current time keeping method. This new clock uses light to excite strontium atoms causing them to vibrate.

So this means that if humans could live for millions of years, instead of falling a second behind every 100 million years, we will lose a second every 300 million years.

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