Researchers claim most accurate clock

August 15, 2011

By RYOMA KOMIYAMA / Staff Writer

These scientists now have no excuse for being late.

Researchers at the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology and the University of Tokyo said they have developed the world's most accurate clock, which loses one second every 65 million years.

They separately developed optical lattice clocks and compared the frequencies generated by the two clocks.

The accuracy achieved was much higher than the loss of one second every 30 million years in the atomic clock believed to be the world's most accurate clock until now.

The results of the joint development could help scientists more accurately define a second of time.

The optical lattice clock is a form of atomic clock that uses electromagnetic waves generated by atoms as a pendulum for keeping time.

The idea for the optical lattice clock originated with Hidetoshi Katori, a professor at the University of Tokyo.

The frequency of the electromagnetic waves was stabilized by applying laser beams. Theoretically, the clock can be further modified to achieve an accuracy that loses one second every 10 billion years.

While the accuracy of the optical lattice clocks was achieved by comparing the frequencies of the clocks developed by the two groups of scientists, a clock in the United States is said to have an accuracy that only loses a second every 7 billion years. However, that accuracy has not yet been verified.

By RYOMA KOMIYAMA / Staff Writer
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