Scientists have found a new way to measure time

News » Science & Technology “316” alt=”Scientists have found a new way to measure time”>

Determining the flow of time in our world of ticking clocks and swinging pendulums — this is a simple case of counting the seconds between “then” and “now”, writes Sciencealert.

However, at the quantum level, “then” not always predictable, “now” often also hazy. A stopwatch simply won't work for some scenarios.

According to a 2022 study by scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden, a potential solution may be found in the form of quantum fog itself. Experiments on the undulating nature of the phenomenon , called the Rydberg state, discovered a new way of measuring time that doesn't require a precise starting point.

Rydberg atoms, inflated by lasers instead of air, contain electrons in extremely high energy states orbiting far from the nucleus.

The mathematical rule book behind this wild game of Rydberg electronic roulette is called Rydberg wave packet.

As with real waves, having more than one Rydberg wave packet oscillating in space creates interference, resulting in unique imprints. Throw enough Rydberg wave packets into the same atomic pond, and each of these unique patterns will be represent the specific time required for the wave packets to evolve in accordance with each other.

It was these time signatures that the physicists behind this series of experiments decided to test, showing that they are quite constant and reliable, to serve as a form of quantum timestamp.

The research included measuring the results of excitation of helium atoms by a laser and comparing their results with theoretical predictions to show how their characteristic results could remain the same over a period of time.

“If you use a counter, you must determine zero. You start counting at some point. This has the advantage that you don't have to start the — you just look at the interference pattern and say, “OK, it's been 4 nanoseconds” — physicist Martha Berholz of Uppsala University in Sweden explained to New Scientist in 2022.

It's important to note that none of the fingerprints require “then” and “now” to serve as a starting and stopping point for time.

During the experiment, scientists were able to observe a timestamp for events as fleeting as just 1.7 trillionths of a second.

Follow us on Telegram

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *