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US scientists claim world's most accurate clock

Published on Aug 23, 2013 9:18 AM
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The National Institute of Standards and Technology's ultra-stable ytterbium lattice atomic clock is shown in this photo released on Aug 22, 2013. United States scientists said on Thursday they have built the world's most precise clock, whose ticking rate varies less than two parts in one quintillion, or 10 times better than any other. -- PHOTO: AFP  

WASHINGTON, DC (AFP) - United States scientists said on Thursday they have built the world's most precise clock, whose ticking rate varies less than two parts in one quintillion, or 10 times better than any other.

The clock, made from the element ytterbium, could be used for technological advancements beyond timekeeping, such as navigation systems, magnetic fields and temperature.

"The stability of the ytterbium lattice clocks opens the door to a number of exciting practical applications of high-performance timekeeping," National Institute of Standards and Technology physicist, and co-author of the study revealing the clock, Andrew Ludlow said in a statement.

While mechanical clocks use the movement of a pendulum to keep time, atomic clocks use an electromagnetic signal of light emitted at an exact frequency to move electrons in cesium atoms.

 
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