February 9th, 2009

betterbug

History of extremely precise time-keeping

From New Scientist:

I thought it couldn't get better than keeping track of atomic vibrations, but it turns out that some atoms vibrate faster than others, external factors can affect the frequency, it's hard to keep count, and if you're really trying hard, you have to take gravity into account. After you've done all that, you get the challenge of keeping ultra-precise clocks in sync with each other.