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people versus people: Quantum-logic clock

Queer things said straight

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quantum-logic clock

"Scientists have built a clock which is 100,000 times more precise than the existing international standard.
The quantum-logic clock, which detects the energy state of a single aluminum ion, keeps time to within a second every 3.7 billion years. The new timekeeper could one day improve GPS or detect the slowing of time predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.
In a weird twist, the team can’t actually tell how many times the clock ticks per second. That’s because the definition of a second is currently based on the cesium fountain clock, which simply can’t measure the precision of a more precise machine. It works using a similar principle as the aluminum clock, but uses the vibration of a cesium atom to anchor the frequency of a microwave source.
The clock could help resolve questions about the universal physical constants, such as the speed of light in a vacuum, or Planck’s constant, an important value in quantum physics."

Source: Wired

De două zile mă tot gandesc să scriu despre noi. Sau doar despre mine. Probabil că trebuie să fiu tristă in order to really do so. Altfel nu apar decât chestii amuzante-sarcastice-ironice-with no feelings inside (yes, that special kind of feelings).

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