This week’s #SciKu was inspired by the development of a new type of atomic clock at MIT. Optical atomic clocks work using lasers to measure the vibration rates of atoms, usually cesium. But because of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, it’s impossible to measure the vibration of a single atom—they have to be grouped together and measured probabilistically, which adds a (very) small amount of imprecision. So small that if an atomic clock were running over the entire age of the universe, it would be less than 100 milliseconds off. But still! With this new technique, scientists quantum entangle the vibrating atoms first to get even closer to perfection, which will help in the effort to detect gravity waves and other exotic physics phenomena.
they find that time’s best kept