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Highly cold atomic clocks could absorb gravitational waves, dark matter • Registry



Physicists have designed super-accurate atomic clocks that can detect gravitational waves and dark matter in a way that influences gravity and thus time.

The eggs experimented with super cooled yterbium, a rare earth element, to measure the passage of time and see how it affects gravity.

Graving waves and dark matter have an effect on gravity and hence on time, variations of which can be detected by these precise clocks, suggesting the presence of one of these phenomena. This is a basic overview of this scientific work.

How does it work

A team of researchers led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology in States says their atomic clocks are sensitive enough to measure the gravitational distortion of time on Earth and in space.

The devices work by cooling atoms ytterbia on several microscopes – smidgen above absolute zero – and holding them between a row of laser beams arranged in the optical grid.

Time can be tracked by keeping counting the number of vibrations of something vibrating at a known exact frequency: the time equals the number of split frequencies. In this experiment, laser light exploded with ytterbia atoms and their electrons oscillated by jump between energy levels, allowing time to be measured. The time deviations observed by these two hours mean a certain external effect.

What matters is that these devices are more accurate than anything we've seen before. Scientists have previously used atomic clocks to sell the effects of gravity in time.

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Boffins described their work in a post published in nature on Wednesday.

As you would expect, if two of these hours were placed at different altitudes near the Earth's surface, higher would be a bit faster than a lower one due to the classic time dilatation.

Differences in the timing of their ticks and strokes could be further changed if they were to pass through a large gravitational wave. And if the clock were sent to space, they could be able to lift the effects of dark matter or test general relativity.

"Einstein first predicted in his general theory of relativity that gravity is changing the time, an effect sometimes called gravitational red shift." In comparison with the observer, time (and time clock devices) appear to be slower and deeper in gravitational potential, "said team paper and added:

Summary of words: fascinating. ®


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