Clocks, 2, 3, 4

“New Optical Single-Ion Clock Is Most Accurate Timepiece Ever Built”

A new optical single-ion clock in Germany has now dethroned JILA’s optical lattice atomic clock as the world’s most accurate timepiece ever built.

With an unprecedented level of accuracy, the optical single-ion clock works by measuring the vibrational frequency of ytterbium ions as they swing back and forth hundreds of trillions times per second.

The ytterbium ions are trapped within an optical “web” of laser beams that allows physicists to count the number of “ticks” per second, determining time so accurately that the single-ion clock won’t gain or lose a second in several billion years.

Alyssa Navarro, Tech Times, February 11, 2016