A new type of atomic clock measures time with record precision

Researchers from the United States have presented a method for more accurate atomic clocks. The device was taught to measure entangled particles.

A new type of atomic clock, developed by physicists at MIT, will allow scientists to measure randomly vibrating atoms and particles of matter, which are entangled when they become interconnected, despite the distance between them. This will allow scientists to measure the vibrations of atoms more accurately.

If modern atomic clocks were adapted to measure entangled atoms, then the measurement of time would be so accurate that the device would have lagged by less than 100 milliseconds during the universe’s entire existence.

“”Optical atomic clocks with improved performance will be able to achieve greater accuracy than today’s optical clocks,” said lead author Edwin Pedroso-Peñafiel of the MIT Electronics Lab.

The team argued that if the atoms are entangled, their individual vibrations will be pulled around a common frequency with fewer deviations. The average of the oscillations that the atomic clock will measure will be more accurate outside the standard quantum limit. The researchers tested their hypothesis by measuring ytterbium atoms’ vibrations, where the device distinguished shorter periods of time.

Atomic (or quantum clock) is used to measure time; this device uses atoms or molecules’ vibrations as a periodic process. They are used in satellite navigation, telecommunications. Their data are also used by international and national bureaus of standards and precision time services.

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