John Ruskin said- "Men are not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions". But men at National Institute of Standards and Technology have reached the height of accuracy with the new atomic clock that wouldn't loose even a second in next 300 million years. The old atomic clock that was accurate up to one-quadrillionth of a second no more sounds surprising. Thanks to the NIST-F2, which was launched to serve as new US civilian time and frequency standard on April 3. This clock is believed to be three times more accurate than NIST F1 which has served as the standard since 1999.
NIST F2 which took about a decade for development is a cesium based atomic clock. Undoubtedly, this will now be used for extra-perfect time in everyday life may it be cellular telephones, GPS and electronic power grids. Currently, NIST would operate both F1 and F2 clocks simultaneously. Such a use would help scientist to improve both the clocks. The major difference between the two clocks is that F1 operates at the room temperature whereas F2 is a shielded to operate at a much cooler environment (at -319 degree Fahrenheit). This cooling reduces the background radiation reducing very small measurement errors.
Technically, both the atomic clocks- F1 and F2 are used to measure the size of SI second which is then used to calibrate other clocks. In order to support customer needs, NIST provides broad range of timing and synchronization. NIST time is circulated to numerous industries, billions of people worldwide for computers and network devices and the NIST radio broadcast which updates about 50 million watches per day. Though the cesium based clocks have high level of perfection, these are likely to reach their ultimate performance limits because of operating on low microwave frequencies. The future atomic clocks are expected to be based on atoms that switch energy levels at high frequencies or near the visible part of electromagnetic spectrum.
Catch the details of latest atomic clock in the following video -
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology
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