Computer networks and GPS systems are only possible because of the precision timekeeping of atomic clocks like the one above, says clockmaker and physicist Jun Ye.
(Source: Ye Group and Baxley/JILA)
Scientists announced last week that they have created the most advanced clock in the world.
The clock, described last week in the journal Nature, is so precise that it would neither lose nor gain one second in about 5 billion years of continuous operation. That's pretty good, considering that the Earth itself is only around 4.5 billion years old.
Since the 1960s, official timekeeping has been based on the natural oscillations of atoms. And scientists just continue to come up with better designs for so-called atomic clocks. A few years ago, a team unveiled a clock that would neither gain nor lose one second in about 3.7 billion years.
Now that feat has been bested by a team led by physicist Jun Ye of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colo.
"Many people would say, 'Well, one second in 5 billion years — how is that going to impact our lives? It's going to be irrelevant to what we are doing in daily life or in the society.' But that's actually not true," says Ye.
He says advances in clocks have ripple effects for all kinds of technology. Today we depend on things like computer networks and GPS systems that are only possible because of the precision timekeeping of atomic clocks — even though the first atomic-clock makers could not have predicted where their inventions would lead. "Nobody would have imagined everybody can have a cellphone and know exactly where you are," Ye says.
More - Link >>> http://www.npr.org/2014/01/24/265247930/tickety-tock-an-even-more-accurate-atomic-clock
Source: National Public Radio.
Radio Stations Broadcasting Precise Time From Atomic Clocks 24 / 7 / 365 ---
Voice Announcements - Shortwave: WWV, Fort Collins CO:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWV_%28radio_station%29
Voice Announcements - Shortwave: WWVH, Kekaha HI:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVH
For Radio-Controlled Clocks - Longwave: WWVB, Fort Collins CO:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WWVB
Voice Announcements - Shortwave: CHU, Ottawa ONT Canada:
Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CHU_%28radio_station%29
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