Print 68 comment(s) - last by masher2.. on Aug 3 at 12:37 PM

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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: .
By masher2 on 8/1/2006 12:28:23 PM , Rating: 1
> "Or maybe because people believe in them, they take the necessary steps to avoid such a future?"

An excellent reply...but one that's quite wrong. When Malthus predicted world starvation in the 1700s-- we kept having babies faster than ever. Same in the 1960s, when movies like "Soylent Green" predicted we'd soon have nothing to eat but plankton.

Also in the 60s, it was popular to predict upcoming shortages of metals and other natural resources...all of which are more abundant today. And none of which did we cut back our usage of.

In the 1970s, it was popular to claim we had "30 years of oil left". Period. Now its 30 years later, and our oil reserves are larger than they were then. That's despite our using oil at an ever-increasing pace.

Doomsaying is popular, period. People love a crisis...even an artificial one.

RE: .
By rushnrockt on 8/1/2006 4:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the reply is quite on the ball and you yourself gave support for it. For everything, from food to minerals, that we were supposed to run out of, there were DRASTIC improvement in locating and making of. A simple example is corn, the yield per acre has been increasing for years and still is, despite the supposed "biological" limitations. And it is safe to say that the economics (i.e. need) are the main factor for finding new/better ways of producing more food and other essential materials.

RE: .
By xsilver on 8/1/2006 10:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
just to point out something obvious
If you're told that the wold is about to end, what are you going to do????


RE: .
By epsilonparadox on 8/3/2006 12:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
I thought Soylent Green is people? ;)

RE: .
By masher2 on 8/3/2006 12:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "I thought Soylent Green is people?"

No, it was a plankton-based food substitute.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
Latest Headlines

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki