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Redefining time

According to reports published in the Physical Review Letter, the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) published a paper indicating that it had discovered a new type of atomic clock based on mercury-ion. The report said that the new atomic clock is so accurate it's nearly 6 times more precise than the current cesium-based atomic clock.

The report said that the NIST currently operates a cesium-based atomic clock called the NIST-F1, which is accurate for roughly 70 million years. If operated continuously, the NIST-F1 would only be off by 1 second after 70 million years. The new mercury-ion atomic clock on the other hand will take 400 million years.

The new experimental clock measures the atomic resonance frequency of a mercury atom. The atom itself is electrically charged and kept in an extremely cold suspension. Using the new mercury-ion atomic clock, scientists at the NIST say that they will be able to conduct more precise experiments and further develop applications that rely on atomic-time accuracy such as GPS systems. Currently, the international standard that defines what one second is relies on cesium-based atomic clocks -- 9,192,631,770 radiation cycles of the change between two energy levels of a cesium atom. The NIST says that it will be five to ten years before we see mercury-ion clocks replace cesium ones.

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RE: .
By TomZ on 8/1/2006 11:11:10 AM , Rating: 0
Funny, they were saying the same thing in the 1700's as well. And yet today, we're healthier, better fed, drink cleaner water, and breathe cleaner air.

Come on, masher2, get with the program - how am I supposed to live in fear all the time with people like you saying things like that? :o)

RE: .
By kattanna on 8/1/2006 11:18:43 AM , Rating: 2 could always believe what the current religous nuts are the current isreal/lebanon war is the beginning of the end of the world

just like how the year 2000 was..and on and on..

RE: .
By Jkm3141 on 8/1/2006 11:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
add in Killer Bee's, SARS, West Nile Virus and a few others that wern't as big. its just the media's hype.

"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan

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