New clock revolves around an atom's mass

Study claims that time can be gauged by a particle's heft

By Andrew Grant, 17:42 PM January 10, 2013

It’s part clock, part scale: A newly developed atomic clock measures time based on the mass of a single atom. The research, published online January 10 in Science, is controversial but could provide scientists with more precise methods of measuring both time and mass.

“This is the first clock based on a single particle,” says Holger Müller, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Its ticking rate is determined only by the particle’s mass.”

The idea for the clock stemmed fro...

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