Late for a date?

Late for a date? Nuclear clocks are here. Atomic clocks are the time-keeping standards of today, used in countless applications including GPS technology, data transfer and particle accelerators. Nuclear clocks are estimated to be “nearly 100 times more accurate than the best atomic clocks we have now,” says Professor Victor Flambaum of the University of New South Wales.

• Atomic clocks track the orbit of electrons, essentially using them as a sort of pendulum. But the electrons are subject to slight external interference, leading to small errors. The new suggestion is to use lasers to orient the electrons in an atom so precisely that one can look through them and track a single neutron orbiting the atom’s nucleus. Neutrons are virtually immune to interference.

• This so-called single-ion clock, or nuclear clock, would be accurate to 19 decimal places or by a twentieth of a second over 14 billion years, roughly the age of the Universe.

• H/T ZME Science for the story: http://www.zmescience.com/research/nuclear-clock-most-accurate-in-world-042343/ The paper is to be published in Phys. Rev. Lett.

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16 Responses to Late for a date?

  1. John T. says:


    but my date would need a such clock too, to see if I am late… that kills the deal

  2. Rajini Rao says:


    Giovanni Toscano , blame the white rabbit 🙂


  3. Did you ” Rajini Rao ” find out where to bombard them ?


  4. I have a great sense of humour . please try to understand that ..

  5. Rich Pollett says:


    I point to the Mad Hatter’s typically arcane interpretation, but I digress…

  6. Rajini Rao says:


    Ankit Chowdhury , unlike the bar man who said to the neutron, “For you, no charge”, Ion not telling! 🙂

  7. Rajini Rao says:


    Martin Sacha , my understanding of the story is that the advanced technique allows for a much smaller error so that the final accuracy is 100x better than the current atomic clocks. It would make no sense if they devised a more accurate system but had an error prone method of measuring it, no?

  8. Rajini Rao says:


    LOL, sorry Gnotic Pasta ! Now I’m trying to understand what exactly is an atomic watch? I got this from a place that sells them: “Atomic watches receive a time calibration signal from Fort Collins, CO giving them the same accuracy as military time. These atomic watches give you accurate time, down to the second.” So if it just a question of your watch synchronizing with some fancy atomic clock somewhere, then it could do so just as easily with a nuclear clock, right? So the watch may well look the same. In any case, these have not yet been built, so you are technically up to the minute (or femtosecond) as far as accuracy is concerned 🙂

  9. Rajini Rao says:


    Hey, I learned something! Never knew there were atomic watches, large or otherwise. Now I’m so impressed 🙂

  10. Bobby Ryan says:


    Nothing ever starts “on time” except TV programs. So if ya never want to be late for the start of “Jersey Shore”, get an atomic watch. I, as well as millions of others have done just fine with a good old “Timex”.

  11. Rajini Rao says:


    Actually Bobby Ryan , the millions of younger people don’t wear watches at all. They are permanently connected to their smart phones. Most of the ones I know stopped watching TV too after their Sponge Bob days 🙂

  12. Rajini Rao says:


    Excellent catch, Patrick Armstrong ! Especially, as he is so obviously sitting down to Tea. I thought the modern definition of atoms was that they were stringy thingies.


  13. its tym 2 wake-up….:)))


  14. I just saw this, that is such a cute bunny 😀 Awww!

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