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January 11 2013

The time? About a quarter past a kilogram


Physicists have created an atomic clock that relies on a fundamental link between time and mass. The researchers, at the University of California, Berkeley, say that the pulse of the clock is determined solely by the mass of its beating heart, a caesium atom.

Although their claims are controversial, the researchers say that the device could also have a role in redefining the kilogram, the only basic unit of measurement not yet tied to a fundamental physical phenomenon.

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