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Ultra-accurate atomic clock measures smallest time dilation to date

Scientists JILA- Instituts des US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) when optical atomic clock built with Einstein time extension It has been measured with the greatest accuracy to date.

The team showed it 2 small atomic clockThis is only with One difference in height has been triggered. Time dilation is part of Einstein’s theory of relativity and describes, among other things, the effects of gravity on time.

Gravity causes slower “ticking”.

With the experimental setup, one can Red shift (longer wavelengths) of atoms It can be measured because the frequency of radiation from atoms decreases when they are subjected to stronger gravity – that is, they are closer to the Earth.

The lower clock is ticking slower than the upper clock, but this is not a new discovery. So far, deviations have only been measured in hours that are significantly farther apart.

New world record

The deviation measured in the new test setup is 0.1 trillion steel It sets a new world record for distance and accuracy. While this sounds very small, it could have a huge impact on GPS systems.

Schematic representation of an optical network used in an atomic clock

The optical atomic clock used is made up like “pancakes”, that is, several discs on top of each other. cloud from around 100,000 super alkaline strontiumومن Trapped in a grid with a laser beam. This reduces distortion and fluctuations. In addition, the atoms are mechanically interlocked, allowing for more accurate measurements.

Quantum Physics Research

According to Einstein, the atoms in the lower layers are subject to an increase in gravity. The frequency offset by the chimes is offset by a very small value in the longer wavelength red band compared to higher atoms – and the scientists were able to measure this.

“The most important and exciting finding is that we probably Combine quantum physics and gravity For research in complex physics, for example,” says physicist JILA john ye in the current situation. In addition, this structure allows 50 times more accurate measurement With atomic clocks more than before. The results were in nature magazine chest.

Second, a highly accurate atomic clock has been developed

Almost simultaneously, researchers from University of Wisconsin-Madison He developed an atomic clock that was nearly as accurate. This is also a variant with an optical lattice, but with a poor laser.

The team used a single laser beam to blast a ball of supercooled strontium atoms in it Six separate areas divided, each of which can act as an atomic clock. They are in the same vacuum chamber in one line.

Six balls in one laser beam

It can measure the smallest changes over time. This can be compared to an hour 300 billion years lose just one secondis she[called[تسمى in the current situation.

Better for real use cases

If the JILA paper had not appeared at the same time, it would have been a world record for the smallest frequency difference. However, JILA’s atomic clock is working 10 times better From those at UW-Madison.

However, the study director notes Shimon Kolkowitz We assume that similar results were obtained with a relatively poor laser. This is especially important for real applications, as this laser is more portable. The UW-Madison paper also appeared in Nature Magazine.

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