Saturday, February 26, 2011
Optical Clock (part 2)
Accurate time measurement is also essential to the effective working of the Internet which functions through globally shared time and frequency standards. Optical clocks can also assist in better tracking of deep space probes that travel across vast distances towards the stars. Scientists also believes that satellites armed with optical clocks will one day map the world's ice caps and mountain ranges with total accuracy. This may prove especially important in helping us to understand the impacts of climate change.
Significantly, the same satellites can also monitor the slightest tremor or shake in the world's earthquakes long enough in advance for people to leave an area before disaster hits.
In the area of pure research, many scientists are even beginning to wonder whether optical clocks can help them test the most basic laws of physics. As one physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology points out, " We may one day test the basic properties of the cosmos. We may be able to an accuracy where perhaps we may start seeing changes in the basic laws of physics. It is a strange thing to wrap your mind around. We haven't seen anything like this yet, but it is exciting to look for."
So watch out! With the development of the new optical clocks, physics and the world of the future just got a whole lot more interesting.
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