New Mercury-Ion Atomic Clock Accurate for 400 Million Years
August 1, 2006 10:21 AM
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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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8/1/2006 12:16:35 PM
Nah we'll be wiped off the planet hundreds of millions of years before that I think....lol.
But anyway, since you folks are talking about the times and end of the world and all that stuff....don't know how much of you believe in prophets and all but if you do -- Nostradamus is said to have predicted the end of mankind to be somewhere in the 33rd century AD....so guess we only have about what...1200 years left.
And finally...I really don't care about anything beyond I'd say 200 years out...I'll be long since dead, so we'll my children by then...so who cares.
8/1/2006 12:43:31 PM
Thing about ol'Nostra is that he was a crappy prophet, he correctly predicted I believe a few small things during his lifetime and some lunatics hailed him as a prophet and since his death they've been slowly editing his "predictions book" and basically he's been wrong with a lot of things :)
This story actually reminds me of another deity who's words have been altered throughout human history...
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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