The world’s best timepiece just got even better. An atomic clock described April 21 in Nature Communications is about three times as precise as its record-setting predecessor.
The clock, which builds off an earlier prototype, would not lose or gain a second in roughly 15 billion years. And raising it just 2 centimeters off its surface would perceptibly change its ticking rate due to the slightly weaker pull of Earth’s gravitational field.
Future generations of atomic clocks could precisely trace Earth’s shape and form the basis of a global timekeeping network.