Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Proposed nuclear clock may keep time with the universe

Date:
March 8, 2012
Source:
University of New South Wales
Summary:
A proposed new time-keeping system tied to the orbiting of a neutron around an atomic nucleus could have such unprecedented accuracy that it neither gains nor loses 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years -- the age of the universe.

A proposed new time-keeping system tied to the orbiting of a neutron around an atomic nucleus could have such unprecedented accuracy that it neither gains nor loses 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years -- the age of the Universe.
Credit: NASA

A proposed new time-keeping system tied to the orbiting of a neutron around an atomic nucleus could have such unprecedented accuracy that it neither gains nor loses 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years -- the age of the Universe.

"This is nearly 100 times more accurate than the best atomic clocks we have now," says one of the researchers, Scientia Professor Victor Flambaum, who is Head of Theoretical Physics in the UNSW School of Physics.

"It would allow scientists to test fundamental physical theories at unprecedented levels of precision and provide an unmatched tool for applied physics research."

In a paper to be published in the journal Physical Review Letters -- with US researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Nevada -- Flambaum and UNSW colleague Dr Vladimir Dzuba report that their proposed single-ion clock would be accurate to 19 decimal places.

The exquisite accuracy of atomic clocks is widely used in applications ranging from GPS navigation systems and high-bandwidth data transfer to tests of fundamental physics and system synchronization in particle accelerators.

"With these clocks currently pushing up against significant accuracy limitations, a next-generation system is desired to explore the realms of extreme measurement precision and further diversified applications unreachable by atomic clocks," says Professor Flambaum.

"Atomic clocks use the orbiting electrons of an atom as the clock pendulum. But we have shown that by using lasers to orient the electrons in a very specific way, one can use the orbiting neutron of an atomic nucleus as the clock pendulum, making a so-called nuclear clock with unparalleled accuracy."

Because the neutron is held so tightly to the nucleus, its oscillation rate is almost completely unaffected by any external perturbations, unlike those of an atomic clock's electrons, which are much more loosely bound.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of New South Wales. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. J. Campbell, A. G. Radnaev, A. Kuzmich, V. A. Dzuba, V. V. Flambaum, and A. Derevianko. Single-ion nuclear clock for metrology at the 19th decimal place. Physical Review Letters, 2012 (in press) [link]

Cite This Page:

University of New South Wales. "Proposed nuclear clock may keep time with the universe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308101331.htm>.
University of New South Wales. (2012, March 8). Proposed nuclear clock may keep time with the universe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308101331.htm
University of New South Wales. "Proposed nuclear clock may keep time with the universe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120308101331.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Nuclear Clock Will Be Accurate Over Billions of Years

Mar. 19, 2012 A clock accurate to within a tenth of a second over 14 billion years – the age of the universe – is the goal of new research. The research provides the blueprint for a nuclear clock based on a ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins