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Little Known Atomic Clock Facts Every Person Should Know

Following is our collection of super amazing and curious facts and details explaining Atomic Clock. This list is intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. But nevertheless learn why is Atomic Clock so important!

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What is Atomic Clock about?

Top 10 Atomic Clock facts that will blow your mind.

  1. Three physicists flew around the world twice in 1971 with synced atomic clocks to test out the time dilation theory. Upon meeting up, they found that all 3 of the clocks disagreed with each other.

  2. Two scientists proved time dilation by each flying around the world carrying a synchronized atomic clock. Upon landing, the clocks were no longer in sync.

  3. In October 1971, a physicist and an astronomer took 4 cesium-beam atomic clocks aboard commercial airliners. They flew twice around the world and when reunited, the sets of clocks were found to disagree according to the predictions of the relativity theory

  4. In an effort to demonstrate time dilation, a father and his kids drove three atomic clocks up Mt. Rainier. The measured effect was just over 20 nanoseconds, matching Einstein's theory of relativity.

  5. There is an atomic clock in Colorado which is so accurate it will not gain or lose a second over 300 million years.

  6. All 24 GPS satellites are equipped with atomic clocks capable of getting the time stamp to a location to the 100 billionth of a second

  7. The official definition of a second is 9,192,631,770 cycles of the Cesium atoms resonant frequency, and the NIST-F1 cesium atomic clock can produce a frequency so precise that its time error per day is about 0.03 nanoseconds, meaning the clock would lose one second in 100 million years

  8. The fastest known neutron star spins at 716 times a second, and their spin rates are extremely reliable - so accurate they even surpass atomic clocks as natures most precise timepieces.

  9. A clock in a tower at Hiroshima University stopped at 8:15 (the time of the Atomic Bombing) 3 days before the bombing.

  10. A second is defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom. An atomic clock can measure this, making them the most accurate clocks in the world.

Funny atomic clock details

Interesting definitions that can be fact checked.

An amateur scientist accurately measured gravity's effect on time (as predicted by Einstein) by driving atomic clocks up to the top of a mountain in the back of his minivan.

Ytterbium based atomic clocks are so accurate, they'd only lose one second in ~19.7 billion years.

Some citizen watches include tiny radio receivers that allow the watch to sync to an official atomic clock allowing for ultimate time-accuracy.

Similar to the common clock, atomic clocks use a quartz oscillator to keep time. The atomic part is used to (constantly) adjust its frequency to be more accurate.

Atomic clocks, which measure the official length of a second, are currently ahead of UTC by 37 seconds.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scienctists puts us at 3 minutes to midnight on the Doomsday clock. We haven't been this close to annihilation on the clock since 1984.

Atomic clocks can be used to foresee the eruption of volcanos

The government operates a radio station WWV. It transmits a ticking sound with a vocal announcement at the top of the minute reflecting the time. This is the station atomic clocks synchronize with

There are accurate atomic clocks based on radioactive decay which broadcast signals all over the USA so you never have to worry about your clock being wrong

Because the Earth's rotation is gradually slowing, "leap seconds" occasionally need to be added to the universal time (UTC) to sync it up with atomic clocks. So far, 26 seconds have been added since 1972.

The Doomsday Clock "represents the Bulletin [of the Atomic Scientists] Science and Security Board's assessment of two fundamental questions": Is civilization safer than it was last year? And is civilization safer than it has been since 1947?

A Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves Doomsday Clock 2 minutes closer to midnight because in 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.

In 2017 The Doomsday Clock was set to two and a half minutes to midnight, indicating that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists think "The probability of global catastrophe is very high". This is the highest warning they've given since 1953.