German Company Builds Most Accurate Clock Ever Built, An Optical Single-Ion Clock

Posted: Feb 11 2016, 1:48pm CST | by , in News | Technology News

Optical atomic clock
Photo credit: PTB

The JILA’s optical lattice atomic clock was reputed to be the most accurate clock in the world, but the optical single-ion timepiece built by German company Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) has now taken snatched title.

The new optical single-ion timepiece is now the most accurate clock ever made by man, and it works by measuring the vibrational frequency of Ytterbium ions and they move to and from hundreds of trillion times per second.

The ions of the Ytterbium are caught inside an optical trap of laser beams that scientists can rely on to assess the number of its ticks per second, making it able to determine accurate timing within ever gaining or losing a single second in billions of years.

Before this time, manufacturers used caesium to make clocks rather than Ytterbium-ion clock, made of optical lattice atomic clocks containing several atoms of pendulum which are moved by microwave radiation.

For perfect caesium clocks, one single second is the fraction of time that passes during 9,192,631,770 cycles of radiation created as a result of the movement between two levels of caesium atom.

According to the research published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the new optical atomic clock is now the most accurate timepiece in the world and 100 times more accurate than its predecessors. "It is regarded as certain that a future redefinition of the SI (International System of Units) second will be based on an optical atomic clock," the physicists wrote.

Optical atomic clocks are much more accurate and stable than caesium clocks because of their considerably high excitation frequency of 1E14 to 1E15 Hz.

Nobel Prize winner physicist Hans Dehmelt had in the 1980s predicted that optical clocks would one day be manufactured and that they would be able to act as lasers to trap neutral atoms or single ions, the PTB’s optical atomic clock is the fulfillment of that prophecy.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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