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But we can do better. A new generation of atomic clocks that use laser light instead of microwave radiation can divide time more finely. About six years ago, researchers completed single-ion versions of these optical clocks, made with an ion of either aluminum or mercury. These surpassed the accuracy of cesium clocks by a full order of magnitude.
Now, a new offshoot of this technology, the optical-lattice clock (OLC), has taken the lead. Unlike single-ion clocks, which yield one measurement of frequency at a time, OLCs can simultaneously measure thousands of atoms held in place by a powerful standing laser beam, driving down statistical uncertainty. In the past year, these clocks have managed to surpass the best single-ion optical clocks in both accuracy and stability. With further development, they will lose no more than a second over 13.8 billion years—the present-day age of the universe.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.