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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Quantum-entangled atomic clock keeps spookily accurate time

• arclein

Now a team of MIT physicists has designed a new type of atomic clock, which could push the boundaries of precision even further. Ideally, tracking the vibrations of a single atom should keep time most accurately, but unfortunately random quantum fluctuations can mess with the measurements. This is known as the Standard Quantum Limit. So, quantum clocks usually track a gas made up of thousands of atoms of the same type ?" traditionally cesium, although ytterbium is emerging as a new frontrunner in recent years. These atoms are cooled almost to absolute zero, then held in place with lasers while another laser measures their oscillations. By taking the average of many atoms, a more accurate answer can be reached.