Scientists evade the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

ICFO Researchers report the discovery of a new technique that could drastically improve the sensitivity of instruments such as magnetic resonance imagers (MRIs) and atomic clocks. The study, published in Nature, reports a ...

Proposed nuclear clock may keep time with the Universe

( -- A proposed new time-keeping system tied to the orbiting of a neutron around an atomic nucleus could have such unprecedented accuracy that it neither gains nor loses 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years ...

3,000 atoms entangled with a single photon

Physicists from MIT and the University of Belgrade have developed a new technique that can successfully entangle 3,000 atoms using only a single photon. The results, published today in the journal Nature, represent the largest ...

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Atomic clock

An atomic clock is a type of clock that uses an atomic resonance frequency standard as its timekeeping element. They are the most accurate time and frequency standards known, and are used as primary standards for international time distribution services, and to control the frequency of television broadcasts and GPS satellite signals.

Atomic clocks do not use radioactivity, but rather the precise microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels. Early atomic clocks were masers with attached equipment. Currently the most accurate atomic clocks are based on absorption spectroscopy of cold atoms in atomic fountains such as the NIST-F1.

National standards agencies maintain an accuracy of 10-9 seconds per day (approximately 1 part in 1014), and a precision set by the radio transmitter pumping the maser. The clocks maintain a continuous and stable time scale, International Atomic Time (TAI). For civil time, another time scale is disseminated, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). UTC is derived from TAI, but synchronized, by using leap seconds, to UT1, which is based on actual rotations of the earth with respect to the mean sun.

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