An atomic clock in Berlin. Scientists have developed an ‘optical lattice’ clock so sensitive it can detect changes in Earth’s gravity
Professor Hidetoshi Katori and his team at the University of Tokyo with the help of Professor Victor Flambaum have conceived a state-of-the-art atomic clock, which is actually so sensitive that it can detect changes in Earth’s gravity and will allow scientists to measure time to a whopping 17 digits! Not only that, the ‘optical lattice’ clock is also touted to remarkably improve GPS tracking systems and will be able to detect insignificant height differences to the range of 10cm.
Atomic clocks are used to measure International Atomic Time or the Universal Time Coordinated, both of which are considered to be more precise than Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). But such clocks can eventually prove to be less accurate because of the moderate yet unwanted noise from the clock’s laser that can cause it to lose track. But this optical lattice clock nullifies this effect and, hence, can be regarded as much more accurate and ’stable’.
Furthermore, it can be used in various important applications like searching for minerals and hydrocarbons below the ground strata and even exploring oil. It can also improve GPS tracking systems, especially in view of being one of the most accurate measuring devices man has ever created.