0

The World’s Most Precise Clock Investigates Time

via The Verge

The question Jun Ye gets asked the most is: why would you want to make the world’s most precise clock?

For many of us, who live our lives by the day, hour or, if we’re lucky, by the moment, it’s difficult to understand the use in splitting time up into smaller and smaller chunks.

But as the Colorado University, Boulder physics professor explained to me over Skype, the endeavor of studying time is anything but futile. Time, Ye said, isn’t just at the heart of everything we do, but at the very core of understanding how the universe functions.

“Time is one of the most fundamental tools that connects us to nature” Ye said. The passage of the sun across the sky allowed ancient Egyptians to track their work hours, the pull of gravity kept pendulum clocks ticking to allow seafarers to navigate the oceans, and the vibration of quartz under stress brought timekeeping on to people’s wrists. Measuring time has always been at the heart of human society, Ye explained, but how we do that has changed considerably.

As measurements became more precise, scientists discovered that these natural timekeepers were fickle and inconsistent. They searched for clock mechanisms that wouldn’t fall behind or need to be reset as often.

The search led physicists to atoms, which “tick” naturally thanks to their physical properties. Inside each atom are even smaller particles that are arranged like a solar system. In the core are protons and neutrons, the sun, and orbiting them at increasing distances are electrons, the planets. In the tiny, subatomic world, atoms obey the laws of quantum physics. Electrons can jump between orbits and, when they do, they give off or absorb a tiny jolt of microwave radiation and change into a different energy state. This happens many times every second and each jump back and forth is the atom’s transition frequency, or clock tick.

See and learn more!


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Fewer startups, and other collateral damage from the 2018 tariffs

Wearables — Zip it up

Electronics — Static kills… slowly.

Biohacking — Who Writes the Heart Rate Algorithms?

Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython creates new assistive tech opportunities

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.


Leave a comment

Adafruit has a "be excellent to each other" comment policy. Help us keep the community here positive and helpful. Stick to the topic, be respectful of makers of all ages and skill levels. Be kind, and don't spam - Thank you!

Prove you are human by reading this resistor:

0Ω+/- 5%

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

0
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

5
5
10

Prove you are human by reading this resistor:


Match the sliders on the left to each color band on the resistor.

Click Here for a new resistor image.

New to electronics? Click here to learn how to read resistor values.

Or learn to read resistors by playing Mho's Resistance!