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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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By TomZ on 8/2/2006 12:36:15 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
I've read the antiseptic properties were due more to the natural acidity of beer, as opposed to the alchoholic content.

My understanding, and I'm not an expert in food chemistry, is that the alcohol as well as the acidity from the hops do help to a certain extent, but the primary factor is because the yeast has already consumed all the nutrients that would be needed for pathogens to grow in beer.

Thinking about it more, I think my original statement about boiling the beer was wrong, since beer doesn't get bottled hot right after it has been boiled.


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