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Super clocks: More accurate than time itself

09th February 2009 by Matthew Chalmers

For those physicists and philosophers puzzled by nature's fourth dimension, Patrick Gill has a wry response. "Time," he says, "is what you measure in seconds."

For Gill, that is a statement of professional pride. He is what you might call Britain's top timekeeper. Within the windowless - and largely clockless - cream-brick confines of the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), near London, Gill and his colleagues are busy developing the next, staggeringly accurate generation of atomic clocks. These tiny timepieces are the devices that ensure radio, television and mobile-phone transmissions stay in sync, prevent the internet from turning into a mess of missing data packets, make GPS accurate enough to navigate by, and safeguard electricity grids from blackout. They are, in short, the heartbeat of modern life.

These are momentous times for

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Added: Feb-10-2009 Occurred On: Feb-9-2009
By: wrano
In:
Arts and Entertainment, Other, Arts and Entertainment
Tags: Physics, Time, Quantum Physics, Gravity, Atomic clocks, Optical clocks
Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany (load item map)
Views: 12152 | Comments: 3 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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