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New Clock May End Time As We Know It (NPR)

Published: 11-03-2014
Source: NPR
Source URL: http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/361069820/new-clock-may-end-time-as-we-know-it

Courtesy of the Ye group and Brad Baxley/JILA

At the nearby University of Colorado Boulder [Ye Lab] is a clock even more precise than the [clock used for the U.S. Time standard].

At the heart of this new clock is the element strontium. Inside a small chamber, the strontium atoms are suspended in a lattice of crisscrossing laser beams. Researchers then give them a little ping, like ringing a bell. The strontium vibrates at an incredibly fast frequency. It's a natural atomic metronome ticking out teeny, teeny fractions of a second.

Read the whole NPR story and listen to the radio feature at http://www.npr.org/2014/11/03/361069820/new-clock-may-end-time-as-we-kno....

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