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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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