Clocking in on mercury

Published: Saturday 15 December 2001

Atomic clocks can now run on mercury rather than caesium. S Diddams at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, usa , has developed an atomic clock that uses mercury atoms. The frequency of oscillations of mercury is much higher than caesium thereby providing for more accurate time measurement. The scientists claim that the mercury clock is about a 100 times more accurate than the caesium clocks. Commercially available caesium clocks are available for use in navigation. Increasing the accuracy of these clocks could be used for testing various theories.

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