An atomic clock’s projected error allowance is about one second per 100 million years – a reminder of just how rudimentary our beloved mechanical watches actually are. To put it in perspective, one of the most accurate modern quartz wristwatches, the Citizen Caliber 0100, is a feat of engineering that allows for an error of roughly one second per year. That means that over 100 million years, there’d be an expected error of just over three years.
That’s, uh, a pretty big gap. And thanks to a recent breakthrough at MIT, the atomic clock is now even more accurate.
Physicists in the university’s Research Laboratory of Electronics have developed an atomic clock that takes advantage of the way atoms behave when they’ve been quantumly entangled.