If you know atomic clocks, also frequently referred to as radio controlled clocks (or RC clocks), you know that they are known for being accurate to a billionth of a second every year. The atomic clock signal is sent from the Atomic Clock in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Well, believe it or not, they are now enabled to be even more accurate than to a billionth of a second every year. The Washington Post recently reported that the National Institute of Standards and Technology, also known as NIST, lab in Colorado has applied what had been considered a radical idea in quantum physics, and the newest atomic clock is now considered at least 30 times better than the previous atomic clock sending out signal to atomic wall clocks, atomic mantel clocks, and atomic watches all over North America.
Believe it or not — though testing and proving this would seem to us to prove to be very difficult — this new clock should lose only 1 second in the next 3 billion years!
The scientist credited with this quantum leap in atomic timekeeping accuracy is Till Rosenband.
Uses for atomic timekeeping, aside from being able to not argue about whether it is really the 5pm quitting time, or amazing your friends and loved ones with the accuracy of your watch or clock or the atomic wall or atomic mantle clock you might give to them as a gift, include things like syncing computer networks, satellites and telecommunications, electric power grids, documenting financial transactions, and even as part of the input for the most accurate GPS capability for your car or airplane.
Anyone have any idea about how to test the atomic clocks and atomic watches, whether wall clocks or mantel clocks or watches, to see if they really are now accurate to a single second in 3 billion years? We would love to hear from you on this timekeeping miracle.