Saturday, April 26, 2014

New U.S. Atomic Clock World's Most Accurate

Caption: National Institute of Standards and Technology physicists Steve Jefferts (foreground) and Tom Heavner with the NIST-F2 'cesium fountain' atomic clock, a new civilian time standard for the United States. Credit: National Institute of Standards and TechnologyCaption: National Institute of Standards and Technology physicists Steve Jefferts (foreground) and Tom Heavner with the NIST-F2 'cesium fountain' atomic clock, a new civilian time standard for the United States.  Credit: National Institute of Standards and Technology

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has officially launched a new atomic clock, called NIST-F2, to serve as a new U.S. civilian time and frequency standard, along with the current NIST-F1 standard.

NIST-F2 would neither gain nor lose one second in about 300 million years, making it about three times as accurate as NIST-F1, which has served as the standard since 1999. Both clocks use a "fountain" of cesium atoms to determine the exact length of a second.

NIST-F2 is the latest in a series of cesium-based atomic clocks developed by NIST since the 1950s. In its role as the U.S. measurement authority, NIST strives to advance atomic timekeeping, which is part of the basic infrastructure of modern society. Many everyday technologies, such as cellular telephones, Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite receivers, and the electric power grid, rely on the high accuracy of atomic clocks. Historically, improved timekeeping has consistently led to technology improvements and innovation.

More - Link >>> http://www.rdmag.com/news/2014/04/nist-launches-new-us-time-standard?et_cid=3864218&et_rid=544605860&location=top

Sources: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), R&D Magazine.

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