How Count Up Clocks Are so Accurate
Since the shift from telling time by the sun and moon, there have been many modern advances in time-keeping. From seasonal and celestial tracking to systems such as the sundial, all have served well in the race for time. But more than any other system that has ever existed, none can compare to how count-up clocks are so accurate, as they use a quantum system of measurement that has yet to be outmatched.
Accuracy Or Consistency
For ages, humanity has searched for the meaning of time and how best to clock it. Finding the right unit of measurement is something of a new age logic, before nature, time and space were all given as the standard. Having progressed through time, we have discovered several inconsistencies that do not necessarily line up with our ideas on time.
Scientists have discovered that the earth has drastically changed in terms of how we perceive it today. Millions of years ago, the earth rotated much faster, and thus a day would account for roughly ten hours. Today we have a full 24 hours, which tells us that the earth has slowed down dramatically.
From this, it has been determined that accuracy cannot be equated with consistency. This leaves consistency as our true marker by which we tell time.
The Quantum Process
Atomic clocks are named atomic due to their structure and how they measure time. The term “quantum” represents the smallest unit of measurement, and this is how units are measured as part of the quantum process. From an atomic level, using the same consistent principles of the universe, atoms vibrate, and based on that, a second is measured at the smallest level. This gives us the most principal form of what a second truly is.
Cesium Over Quartz
Until the turn of the century, quartz was used as the industry standard for all things related in time. Most wristwatches are still governed by quartz if they are of high quality. But what moved us from quartz to cesium?
Quartz was revolutionary to how we think of timing things as it moves at multiple thousands of times per second. For a while, there was nothing that compared to it that we knew of, and so, it was used in all clock applications. Quartz took over the same principal idea as the pendulum, only now more highly advanced.
When cesium was introduced, there was an entirely new standard to think about now, as the time was even faster due to its atomic radiation, which trumped quartz at roughly 9,192,631,770 Hz per second. At this rate, we now had atomic particle speeds that had not been studied before. These particles were so consistent as they always maintained the same frequency, making them the new industry standard. And thus, the atomic clock was born.
Time Is Relative
Due to the nature of time, change is inevitable, meaning that moving faster than you normally would while at work will cause time to feel as though it slows down. The reality here is that you do slow time the faster that you move. Because time is so exact, whenever you go against its principles, you go outside of time, making it slow down or speed up.
That is why sitting for periods of time can fly by. Take, for instance, that friend that you meant to catch up with for the longest time. You spend an hour sitting and relaying as much information as you can with one another, and it feels like no time has passed by. And then you find yourself spending the afternoon chatting.
It is for similar reasoning that the higher you are in elevation, the faster time moves. So, if you visit the Rocky Mountains on vacation, it might be over just as soon as it happened. While if you chose somewhere like New Orleans, time may come to a dead-end halt.
Atoms and Time
Atomic clocks or LED count up timer clocks are designed in such a way that they are comprised of laser beams and odd elements. This gives us a unit of measurement that nothing else can come close to. When the laser hits the element cesium that is used to measure atomic frequency, the length of time it takes its atoms to oscillate back and forth is in the billions.
The atoms oscillate so quickly, but measuring their oscillation is most consistent means of telling time due to the frequency of cesium radiating at a consistent rate every time. Quartz is even used in atomic clocks working alongside cesium, due to its high levels of accuracy. However, quartz now acts as the pendulum, while cesium exacts the pendulum to its frequency.
Here is a basic guide to further understanding the intricacies that underline how the quantum process of an atomic clock ticks:
- Atoms from cesium are heated by a laser which fuses them together, creating a beam.
- A single state of one atom then passes through what is known as the resonator.
- The resonator will then change some atoms to another state.
- A detector is then used to count how many atoms changed their state in this process.
- This allows the atoms to fine-tune the microwave frequency to the oscillation of atoms present.
- At the point of proper tuning, time is then created and measured in this method.
Having the means to process time through the lens of the movement of radiating atoms might seem insane, but it makes the most sense. Before cesium and quartz, there was the pendulum clock that operated through weight and gravity. This used the laws of physics and nature to determine how evenly you could split time through measurement in weight and the force of gravity.
Having this algorithm in place would give us the most accurate representation of what we believed the second looked like at the time. However, in the present age and with how count up clocks are so accurate, this holds a similar relation to the pendulum, but on the smallest scale imaginable. This gives us as exact of a representation of time as possible.