Proposed by University of Tokyo’s Professor Hidetoshi Katori, Optical lattice clocks are a new type of optical atomic clock that capable to accurately kept count of time to 17 decimal places, or equivalent to a 100 quadrillionth of a second, with an averaging period of 15 minutes.
This should be worldâ€™s first extreme stable optical lattice clock…
Optical lattice clocks were originally intended to read out time to 18 digits through one-second measurement, the kind of accuracy that will enable users to visible witness the relativity dominating our space. Besides, the optical lattice clocks also capable to observe a million of atoms simultaneously.
â€œIn Daliâ€™s famous painting The Persistence of Memory, which is said to have been inspired by Einsteinâ€™s theory of relativity, space is bent and curved. With an 18-digit clock, we could see that space is curved on our ordinary timescale. For example, if one clock is placed one centimeter higher than another clock, the higher clock is affected by less gravity, so it goes faster. That difference could be read out in the 18th decimal place of the clocks in one second averaging time. Until now, clocks have been thought of as tools for sharing a common time. But with clocks like this, conversely, we can understand that time passes at different speeds, depending on the time and place a clock is at.â€
Professor Katori also expects to use optical lattice clocks to demonstrate this kind of relativity of space-time, and measure the distortion of space-time, will eventually lead to new applications and frontiers in science and technology.