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The Length Of A Second Might Be About To Change

The Length Of A Second Might Be About To Change

Scientists in Germany have discovered a new way to measure the length of a second.

They claim to have created the most accurate clock ever designed, which will subsequently alter the time of a second by a tiny fraction.

The findings, published in the journal Optica, show the details of a new optical atomic clock which "surpasses the performance of cesium atomic clocks in both accuracy and stability."

Apparently, we've been measuring time wrong since we started tracking it.

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The research estimates the amount of mistakes in measuring the length of a second reducing from 0.25 quadrillionths of a second.

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How has our current measuring method worked? It has been passed on the concept of a pendulum, which according to the research, is limited by imperfections.

"Even for the best cesium fountain clocks, this error can integrate to about 1 ns (nanosecond) after one month," the paper states. "Together with improved time-link technologies, a network of optical atomic clocks will allow the generation of a much more stable UTC (Universal Coordinated Timescale) and thus labelling events in time all over the world more precisely. This would be beneficial for global navigation systems, astrophysics, and fundamental physics."

Words by Josh Teal

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Topics: Time

Josh Teal

Josh Teal is a journalist at LADbible. He has contributed to the 'Knowing Me, Knowing EU' and 'UOKM8?' campaigns interviewing everyone from student drug dealers to climate change activists.