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New Atomic Clock Could Redefine the Second

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the about-time dept.

Science 76

bmahersciwriter writes "The new type of clock, called an optical lattice clock could replace the cesium fountain clocks used as the standard for time keeping. Indeed, it could redefine the second. The cesium fountain is predicted to keep time within one second over 100 million years. While other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still and could one day replace the standard."

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I want to redefine the second (4, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#44231003)

... as 1/65536 of a day. Then I can do time calculations on my 6502.

Re:I want to redefine the second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231243)

Why? It only has an 8 bit accumulator, so you might as well implement 32 bit arithmetic and go for 1/4000000000.

Re:I want to redefine the second (1)

turgid (580780) | about a year ago | (#44231391)

Ah now, back in the day, the IBM PeeCee (which had an 8088) kept time at a rate of 65536 ticks per hour. How this divides into a second is left as an exercise for the interested reader.

The second question for the interested reader is how on Earth anyone could achieve any sort of calculation at all on a 6502 what with it being quite the most pathetic excuse for a CPU ever devised by person-kind.

Re:I want to redefine the second (2)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#44231601)

While you are sitting around complaining, REAL MEN are making it do things like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBegD7k2wvo [youtube.com] .

Re:I want to redefine the second (2)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#44231607)

The second question for the interested reader is how on Earth anyone could achieve any sort of calculation at all on a 6502 what with it being quite the most pathetic excuse for a CPU ever devised by person-kind.

I hope you're kidding. The 6502 helped make the personal computer revolution possible. For a time, it was the lowest price workable 8-bit CPU available, making computing available to the masses. The original Atari game console (the 2600) was based on the 6502, as was the Apple II computer, which really launched the small computer revolution, and the 6510 (a slightly enhanced version of the chip) powered the extremely popular Commodore 64 computer. True, pricier CPUs like the Z-80 and others were a bit more capable, but it was the 6502 that really made home computers affordable in the early days.

Re:I want to redefine the second (1)

PRMan (959735) | about a year ago | (#44231853)

Actually, the Atari 2600 had a 6507, which, if you can believe it, was WORSE than a 6502.

Re:I want to redefine the second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231927)

I wouldn't really call the z80 more capable. It might have fancier instructions but every one of the cost so many cycles that it is silly.

Also, with NES using 6502 it is probably the most emulated CPU ever.

Re:I want to redefine the second (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#44232129)

IIRC the NES CPU lacks some features that the regular 6502 has (BCD mode comes to mind).

Re:I want to redefine the second (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44232663)

My first computer was a Vic-20 (6502) and I wrote my first program on that when I was about 7 using a book my dad got me. I had the cassette tape drive, a modem (with no-where to call) some cartridges. Man, I thought that thing was magic. My friends had Atari's and stuff, but I could actually make my computer do stuff...

Re:I want to redefine the second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234441)

And don't forget that an updated form of the 6502 will be used to power sophisticated cybernetic devices in the near future. [c128.com]

Re:I want to redefine the second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233251)

Ah now, back in the day, the IBM PeeCee (which had an 8088) kept time at a rate of 65536 ticks per hour. How this divides into a second is left as an exercise for the interested reader.

No wai! I've known "18.2 ticks/second" since 1985, but I always thought it was arbitrary.
You have just enlightened me.

Re:I want to redefine the second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44239775)

The second question for the interested reader is how on Earth anyone could achieve any sort of calculation at all on a 6502 what with it being quite the most pathetic excuse for a CPU ever devised by person-kind.

Jesus, you kids couldn't program your way out of paper bags. Commodores were doing things that today's PCs do, and doing them faster than PCs because they were written in assembly, and code was tight and fast because memory was at a premium.

I wrote a two player battle tanks game for a 1 mz Z80 in about a hundred bytes or so. I had to add timing loops to slow it down enough to be playable. You kids can't even make a virus that small, let alone a fun game.

Sheesh, kids today...

Re:I want to redefine the second (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#44232285)

Nope, a second is the time it takes for a politician to determine they need to steal more of your money for the good of the government. It keeps getting shorter.

Yeah, that's what they said (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44231005)

a second ago...

Re:Yeah, that's what they said (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | about a year ago | (#44235423)

The definition of "a second" ago keeps changing. Please try to be more precise.

When better isn't better (2, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#44231007)

While other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still and could one day replace the standard.

So A is better than B, but B is still better than A. Makes sense.

Re:When better isn't better (4, Informative)

GodInHell (258915) | about a year ago | (#44231067)

So A is better than B, but B is still better than A. Makes sense.

No. The summary says:

The cesium fountain is predicted to keep time within one second over 100 million years. While other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still and could one day replace the standard.

Thus: where A = Optical lattice, B= Cesium fountain (the standard), and C = other atomic clocks; A > B; C > B; A > C

Re:When better isn't better (1)

Roman Coder (413112) | about a year ago | (#44231219)

A > B; C > B; A > C

And here I thought it meant that both A and C attacks B, then A gets mad at C for killstealing and attacks C.

Re:When better isn't better (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#44231221)

It took me a couple of extra readings, too. The tricky unstated part: while other atomic clocks are better than cesium clocks, they are not the standard.

TFA doesn't explain why trapped-ion clocks (the "better clocks" mentioned in TFS) aren't used to define the standard. Presumably, that's just the glacial pace of international standards setting, and perhaps a trapped-ion clock standard is working its way through the system but has not yet become the new standard. That's just my guess, though.

Re:When better isn't better (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#44231267)

The better clocks would have to be sufficiently better to justify the change. The current cesium fountain clocks are accurate to about 1 second in a hundred million years. There are better ones, but it's difficult to improve much upon that, at least not sufficiently to justify the change.

Which is what I suspect is going on here. The current clock is likely to already be more accurate than the means of conveying the standard to other time keeping devices.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233671)

Even if they are much, much better, changes to the SI standards are usually slow on purpose, to double check that the new standards are better in the sense it is reasonably possible to measure in a consistent way, even if it is know the current definitions having inconsistencies or problems. For example, a lot of work goes into making sure Josephson junction can produce a consistent calibration standard for the volt and there are not other effects that cause it to drift, change, or be different in different set ups (that probably not end up as an SI standard, but it is heavily used by equipment manufacturers as a very reliable calibration source). Or in the case of trying to define the ampere in terms of a certain number of fundamental charges per second, work is going into make sure measurement methods are able to count individual electrons at a usable rate, and that there are no effects, real or effective, that can cause measurements of fractional charges.

Re:When better isn't better (2)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about a year ago | (#44233835)

Cesium fountain clocks last about 20 years, some a bit longer, before they need to get parts replaced for maintenance. The standard is transferred to a backup during this time, then transferred back. Improving on the lifetime of the individual clocks would help more than improving on the accuracy of the clocks.

Re:When better isn't better (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#44235855)

Pfffff... My 1985 vintage Casio is still going and keeps perfect time. Obviously we should use an 80s vintage digital watch as our master reference.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234485)

This must be an A B conversation. I'm going to C my way out...

Re:When better isn't better (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44231119)

The Current STANDARD Atomic Clock (a) is already surpassed by other Atomic Clocks (b) but the new Optical Latice (c) is better still.

I had to do a double take as well.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231159)

Cesium fountain clock (current standard) not as accurate as other atomic clocks not as accurate as optical lattice (possible future standard)

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231247)

B is still better than A when it's simpler/less expensive to produce and is already the adopted standard.

Re:When better isn't better (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44231835)

B is still better than A when it's simpler/less expensive to produce and is already the adopted standard.

So no improvement can be made because someone adopted a standard?

The horse an buggy was a standard for a long time.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235333)

Depends what you mean by an improvement.

The new clocks will be able to measure a shorter period of time

However, they may not be able to measure 1 second precisely

And as for adopting a standard, it's not just the second we have to think about if we're going to redefine the second. A lot of other units are defined in terms of seconds - for example 1 metre is the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in a certain amount of time. Changing the definition, and thus duration, of a second will change how long a metre is, etc.

Re:When better isn't better (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44243521)

Total nonsense.

There will be no redefinition of the second, it will be precisely as long as it is today.

We will simply change the ruler with which we measure a second.

Defining a meter as 100 centimeters, or 1000 millimeters, or 10,000,000,000 angstroms, or 3.281 feet does not change the length of a meter.

Re:When better isn't better (1, Interesting)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44232673)

Behind all this accuracy is on the assumption that the atomic constants, such as Planck's "constant" are truly constant, because all atomic behavior is governed by this. There is evidence that for long periods of time these so-called "constants" have drifted and still are drifting, because they are related to the size of the universe. All the equations for atomic behavior contain a time element as part of these so-called "constants". The equations for gravity on the other hand to not contain any terms referring to time. Gravity clocks and atomic clocks to not run at the same rate, especially over long periods of time. Therefore the supposed of accuracy of these and all atomic clocks is an academic exercise based on faith.

Re:When better isn't better (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233573)

There is evidence that for long periods of time these so-called "constants" have drifted and still are drifting, because they are related to the size of the universe

There is no good evidence of that and a lot of evidence to the contrary, everywhere from astrophysical data to on going work in the labs. And it is not like everyone is assuming so, people are actually checking and running experiments from such things. I've seen some of them first hand considering former colleagues of mine ended up on such a project.

The equations for gravity on the other hand to not contain any terms referring to time.

Then you must be about 100 years behind the times, as gravity is closely tied to the rate of time passage, both in theory and thoroughly demonstrated by experiment.

Everything you said is so close to the exact opposite of current physics research (or even intro level physics), that it would be difficult to believe you are not a troll.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44241313)

Nothing in nature is as constant as change, especially over long periods of time. What reason can you give that the so-called "constants" of physics have remained the same over millions or even billions of years?

Re:When better isn't better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243041)

What reason can you give that the so-called "constants" of physics have remained the same over millions or even billions of years?

Spectroscopic measurements in astronomy, including fine, hyperfine, and molecular transitions, can provide measurements of changes in various constants in atomic physics independent of things like red-shift. So far, all such experiments have given null results, that there was no measurable change in constants. Additional high precision measurements in the lab place upper limits on possible rate of changes, which continue to shrink to very small value. The only evidence to the contrary I've seen discussed around Slashdot is some serious misinterpretations of CODATA reports.

Nothing in nature is as constant as change, especially over long periods of time.

Didn't you just claim that gravity does not change over time? Nonetheless, if you are just going to a prior assume your conclusion, there is no point to arguing with you. It is rather amusing that you were the one complaining of others basing their claims on faith though.

Re:When better isn't better (0)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44247065)

The history of science has shown over and over again that mainstream scientists, the vast majority have often been wrong in their interpretations of experiments and observations. Modern cosmology and astrophysics is no exception to this. In 1929 Edwin Hubble measured the red shift for the first time. That measurement was puzzling and he as well as others have sought an explanation. The Doppler shift of sound commonly experienced was the basis of the interpretation that applied this principle to electromagnetic radiation, including light. This interpretation is and was the basis of the present "Big Bang" theory with its requirement for never observed black holes, dark matter and dark energy.

An astronomer in Arizona by the name of William Tift observed that this red shift is quantized. Other reputable scientists have repeated his observations to ever greater accuracy. This quantization falsifies the mainstream Doppler effect interpretation of the red shift. Another astronomer by the name of Halton Aarp at Mount Wilson also made other observations that falsify the idea of the Big Bang. You can Google the names of these people if you are interested.

Quantum phenomena arise in the atomic and subatomic realms and govern the emission spectra of light as well as radioactive decay. Planck's constant is involved in atomic processes and subatomic motions. Planck's constant is inversely related to the speed of light. The undisputed fact that light from distant galaxies is quantized is powerful evidence that atomic processes and not motion are the cause this quantization. The atomic clocks mentioned in the article are also governed by Planck's constant and are therefore subject to change. Scientists will likely never see this change in several human lifetimes because it is immeasurably small today. Evidence of the red shift however shows that this change was very large billions of years ago.

Who modded this up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44236843)

Beyond the first sentence, everything said is completely wrong...

Re:Who modded this up? (1)

godefroi (52421) | about a year ago | (#44241071)

Including his sig...

Re:Who modded this up? (0)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44241579)

Why have milk and honey been associated with good and abundance for thousands of years in many cultures? Can you show me some articles based on real research that show that milk and honey are NOT healthful foods?

In nature everything always changes over time, especially over millions or even billions of years. There is some evidence that the so-called "red shift" observed from distant galaxies is caused by fundamental changes within the atom because Planck's constant was considerably smaller at one time in the history of the universe. There is no way you or any scientists on Earth can prove that these atomic "constants" have NOT changed over time. Electromagnetic radiation, such as light, arises within atoms the behavior of which is governed by Planck's constant among other things.

Re:Who modded this up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44243871)

"There is no way you or any scientists on Earth can prove that these atomic "constants" have NOT changed over time. "

Science isn't about absolute proof, and at best deals with different strengths of evidence. If you want to argue that it is impossible to provide evidence of no change in such constants, then you would also be arguing there could be no evidence of change. Either your writing is betraying you, or you are trying to complain of others taking a non-scientific stance while taking a very non-scientific one yourself.

"There is some evidence that the so-called "red shift" observed from distant galaxies is caused by fundamental changes within the atom because Planck's constant was considerably smaller at one time in the history of the universe."

There is some discussion over changes to the fine structure constant, but at levels way, way, too small to account for red shift. Otherwise, all of the research and papers I've seen on the topic say the opposite of what you seem to be saying here.

Re:Who modded this up? (0)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44247201)

The history of science has shown over and over again that mainstream scientists, the vast majority have often been wrong in their interpretations of experiments and observations. Modern cosmology and astrophysics is no exception to this. In 1929 Edwin Hubble measured the red shift for the first time. That measurement was puzzling and he as well as others have sought an explanation. The Doppler shift of sound commonly experienced was the basis of the interpretation that applied this principle to electromagnetic radiation, including light.

An astronomer in Arizona by the name of William Tift observed that this red shift is quantized. Other reputable scientists have repeated his observations to ever greater accuracy. This quantization falsifies the mainstream Doppler effect interpretation of the red shift. You can Google His name and anything you want to know about the red shift.

Quantum phenomena arise in the atomic and subatomic realms and govern the emission spectra of light as well as radioactive decay. Planck's constant is involved in atomic processes and subatomic motions. Planck's constant is inversely related to the speed of light. The undisputed fact that light from distant galaxies is quantized is powerful evidence that atomic processes and not motion are the cause this quantization. The atomic clocks mentioned in the article are also governed by Planck's constant and are therefore subject to change. Scientists will likely never see this change in several human lifetimes because it is immeasurably small today. Evidence of the red shift however shows that this change was very large billions of years ago.

Another problem is that in order to measure something, such as the accuracy of the clock or anything else for that matter requires a standard of comparison. If you have several super accurate clocks, the they can be compared with one another, but if they are all drifting at the same rate there is no way that can be known. If Planck's constant changes, all clocks will change by the same amount.

sorry, i don't have time for this (5, Funny)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a year ago | (#44231009)

My watch is made in china.

Re:sorry, i don't have time for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44232099)

try this one instead...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/01/hoptroff_shows_first_atomic_watch_movement/

Re:sorry, i don't have time for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234829)

I don't even wear a watch or pack a cell phone. I let MS time servers completely rule my world. As far as I know its actually 11:22 PM PST on 7/9/2013 as I write this but in reality it could be 20 years +/- and how would I know?

Re:sorry, i don't have time for this (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#44235809)

Funny you should mention that. The average quartz based Romex is likely to be more accurate than the officially certified chronometer that it's ripping off.

The only problem is the second hand only goes around the dial 100 times before it falls off, but for those 60 hours it'll be more accurate than a Rolex.

About time for the frist post (0)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#44231047)

Am i doing it right?

Re:About time for the frist post (1)

fisted (2295862) | about a year ago | (#44231059)

oh sh--

Re:About time for the frist post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235507)

That's what you get for using an old cesium fountain atomic clock.

So, now we need not just leap seconds... (1)

ChumpusRex2003 (726306) | about a year ago | (#44231055)

but leap microseconds?

Actually, I think that might be a good idea. There's likely to be money in rewriting time stacks to cope with 1000001 microsecond seconds.

so what? (4, Funny)

WillgasM (1646719) | about a year ago | (#44231081)

It's still relative.

What's wrong with counting (1)

ohieaux (2860669) | about a year ago | (#44231117)

One Mississippi, two Mississippi...

Happy times (5, Funny)

jovius (974690) | about a year ago | (#44231123)

Yeah, no more sloppy seconds!

Re:Happy times (1)

aliquis (678370) | about a year ago | (#44242439)

"You only lasted four seconds!"

"Sorry but your watch are like totally wrong!"

Grumble.. (1)

SinisterRainbow (2572075) | about a year ago | (#44231125)

Just when you start to think you know everything you read something and fail to grasp it's significance and feel dumb or naive all over again.

Well, then you just hope it helps make a warp core.

Re:Grumble.. (1)

Guinness Beaumont (2901413) | about a year ago | (#44231317)

The more exact and finite an objective standard of time we posses the better we can measure other things. More lines on a 4th dimensional ruler, if you will.

Re:Grumble.. (1)

SinisterRainbow (2572075) | about a year ago | (#44232395)

That's not what I meant, but kind replies are always nice. I understand the function, but just like most of us don't spend our off hours learning string theory and pondering just how small plank's constant is (at least, rarely), I doubt many of us keep abreast of experiments that use this type of precision or what truly interesting things that will come of it - at LEAST what truly interesting things that justify the seemingly inflated giddiness of the article.. Hence my dissatisfaction.

Make it wearable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231135)

A wristwatch of this tipe and you have my atention, otherwise don't waste my time.

Exceptionally poorly written summary. (1)

Jahoda (2715225) | about a year ago | (#44231179)

Look, not for nothing, but this summary really is exceptionally poorly written. "...while other atomic clocks are better than that, researchers suspect the optical lattice is better still..."? Is this the 10th grade? "Better than that" is how we summarize a new type of clock? Why don't we just throw style out the window and write that it's very, very, very, very, very, very, very good? Additionally, can we possibly have even a quick sentence to explain of why the optical lattice is "better still"?. I mean, I can obviously read the article, but frankly now I don't want to.

Important note (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231235)

For example, physicists could use such clocks to investigate whether some of nature’s fundamental constants change over time, as some theories predict.

You know what's a few blocks down the street from NIST? A university with one of the world's most renowned physics departments. A bit further down the road is the office of the guy whose image is currently on the cover of Nature.

Ah, time (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about a year ago | (#44231291)

Ah, time. Man's cruelest construct.

Well.. (4, Funny)

deep44 (891922) | about a year ago | (#44231331)

All I can say is.. it's about time!

A new summary (5, Informative)

bryanandaimee (2454338) | about a year ago | (#44231401)

The new (less than a decade old) optical latice clocks (OLC's) in which 10,000 atoms of strontium-87 are trapped in (what else) an optical lattice have been shown to be better (within 1.5x10^-16) than the current world standard cesium fountain clocks (within 3x10^-16), but haven't yet beat the best clocks, which are measuring emissions from single ions trapped in an electro-magnetic field (within 1x10^-17). But researchers are hopeful that OLC's will eventually emerge as the new standard because 10,000 atoms beat 1 atom for measurement statistics and because the other two technologies measure frequencies in the microwave spectrum, while the optical lattice clock is measuring in the visible spectrum. Statistics and higher frequencies should eventually win out as the technology matures.

Re:A new summary (2)

E3nder (908983) | about a year ago | (#44232847)

Ion clocks are also based on optical transitions. So your new summary is incorrect. Also, it's not really "statistics" that win out, its the ability to probe your ensemble (either 1 ion or many atoms) with lower Quantum Projection Noise. For example, everytime your laser has excited your ion to a quantum superposition of ground and excited state all you get back is one bit of information: 1 - excited state, 0 - ground state. So to discover where your laser (aka clock oscillator) is detuned with respect to your atomic reference or in another words what quantum superposition you created requires you to run the experiment many times. With an optical lattice clock, you gain the ability to measure more than just a 1 or a 0, you measure as an example 2035 atoms in the excited state and 812 atoms in the ground state or an excitation fraction of 0.714. It is statistics, but it's quantum in nature.

Re:A new summary (1)

hyperfine transition (869239) | about a year ago | (#44244301)

Not all ion clocks are optical. Linear ion trap microwave clocks based on Yb and Hg were developed in the 90s. Some Hg clocks operated as part of the NASA Deep Space Network for a number of years and there's currently an active project to develop a highly miniaturised Yb clock. So the summary should say that lattice clocks can beat single ion clocks on QPN and fountains because optical beats microwave.

A good time to be a time nut (1)

bryanandaimee (2454338) | about a year ago | (#44231517)

Between this and the WWVB anniversary it's been a good run the last few days for time nuts.

"A man with one clock knows what time it is. A man with two clocks is never sure. But I would add further: A man with three clocks is more sure than a man with two clocks."
Quoted from one of the quintisential time nuts at
http://www.leapsecond.com/ [leapsecond.com]

Meh (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about a year ago | (#44231679)

It's all relative.

Cesium Fountain Clocks? (2)

DigitAl56K (805623) | about a year ago | (#44231801)

.. now that's what I call sloppy seconds.

Just another waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231953)

It will never be as good as my sand clock. It's interesting to waste lots of time watching it.

So what happens to ... (4, Funny)

hymie! (95907) | about a year ago | (#44232405)

So what happens to the platinum second they keep in the French vault?

Re:So what happens to ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233749)

We muricans need to make sure the frogs dont rename it the "french second". its the FREEDOM SECOND, GODDAMIT! remember, we saved their asses in the big one, they better not forget that! usa1

Re:So what happens to ... (1)

Nivag064 (904744) | about a year ago | (#44234571)

No problems.

They will still keep the platinum second - but it won't need as much cleaning, as it will not have to be brought out so often for calibration purposes...

To quote a musical group... (0)

Snard (61584) | about a year ago | (#44232563)

Does anybody really care?

Time Crystal (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#44233321)

What about the 4 dimensional "time crystal" that not only has perfectly repeating latices structure in the 3 dimensions, but also in the 4th time dimension. If it truly has perfect repetition in the 4th dimension, shouldn't that be the "perfect" time piece?

Re:Time Crystal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233595)

Just like how perfect 3D crystals are used as perfect rulers... in the real world they are not so perfect. And for the purposes of making it a time standard, you want it so someone else can construct one on their own and not have to tune it to match something else, it should instead inherently produce the signal needed.

Re:Time Crystal (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year ago | (#44233925)

You mean the Time Cube?

Re:Time Crystal (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#44234577)

I hear that has 4 simultaneous days in one single rotation of the Earth and that anything else is evil oneness. Gotta get me some of that

Leap second (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235213)

Let's just implement a leap second every 184643824387596223646302 seconds.... unless the second is divisible with 4986,1324 but not when it is divisible with pi.

I'm bad at adding complexity to things, so I think we need to have some American scientists decide it for all of us :)

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