New Kind of Clock Will Keep Better Time

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Scientists from the Paris Observatory have found that a different system for measuring time is actually more accurate. Optical lattice clocks are projected to only lose one second over 300 million years, which is three times more accurate than caesium atomic clocks, which are currently used to measure time.

Right now, seconds, minutes and hours are based on atomic clocks measuring time.
But now scientists from the Paris Observatory have found that a different system for measuring time is actually more accurate.

Optical lattice clocks are projected to only lose one second over 300 million years, which is three times more accurate than caesium atomic clocks, which are currently used to measure time.

Atomic clocks are based on caesium fountains that expose caesium atoms to microwaves, and their rate of movement is used to define a second in time.

The optical lattice clock uses lasers and strontium atoms, and researchers say that system might “redefine the second.”

Doctor Jerome Lodewyck, from the Paris Observatory, said: “Laser beams oscillate much faster than microwave radiation, and in a sense we divide time in much shorter intervals so we can measure time more precisely.”

The researchers found the optical lattice clocks to be more accurate by comparing two of them for synchronicity as well as comparing them with a functioning atomic clock.

Keeping better time has some important applications in telecommunications, satellite navigation and stock market activity.

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