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Ultra-Precise Quantum-Logic Clock Puts Old Atomic Clock to Shame | Wired Science | Wired.com

February 7, 2010
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      • Ultra-Precise Quantum-Logic Clock Puts Old Atomic Clock to Shame

        quantum_clock
        Scientists have built a clock which is 100,000 times more precise than the existing international standard.

        The quantum-logic clock, which detects the energy state of a single aluminum ion, keeps time to within a second every 3.7 billion years. The new timekeeper could one day improve GPS or detect the slowing of time predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

        “It could it be a real contender for the next frequency standard, or next timekeeper,” said physicist Chin-wen (James) Chou of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, lead author of a study to appear in a forthcoming Physical Review Letters.

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