The precision of the next-generation clocks will allow them to detect hidden mineral deposits and test fundamental theories such as general relativity with high precision.

To improve accuracy, scientists are using optical atomic clocks, which illuminate atoms with visible light at a much higher frequency than the microwaves used in current clocks. The new clock promises to be much more accurate, losing about one second every 30 billion years.

To achieve high accuracy, JILA clocks use an “optical lattice” to hold and measure tens of thousands of individual atoms simultaneously. The more atoms measured, the more data is available to accurately measure seconds.

The new watch design makes it possible to detect relative timekeeping effects on a submillimeter scale, roughly equal to the thickness of a human hair.

Source: Ferra

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