HomeSpace NewsUltraprecise atomic optical clocks may redefine the length of a second

Ultraprecise atomic optical clocks may redefine the length of a second

A strontium lattice optical atomic clock. Ultraprecise atomic optical clocks may redefine the most fundamental unit of time in the next decade. (Image credit: The Ye group and Brad Baxley, JILA)

The definition of a second, the most fundamental unit of time in our current measurement system, hasn’t been updated in more than 70 years (give or take some billionths of a second).

But in the next decade or so, that could change: Ultraprecise atomic optical clocks that rely on visible light are on track to set the new definition of a second.

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