Posted by Henderson
Here’s a riddle:
It’s present everywhere, but occupies no space.
We can measure it, but we can’t see it, touch it, get rid of it, or put it in a container.
Everyone knows what it is and uses it every day, but no one has been able to define it.
We can spend it, save it, waste it, or kill it, but we can’t destroy it or even change it, and there’s never any more or less of it
What is it? Time.
Today, most of us depend less on the cycles of the moon than we do on clocks. Digital displays help us keep track of everything from how long a turkey has been in the oven to what time to be at work. But with all of the advances in the study of time over the last century, we still don’t know much more about it than did our early ancestors.
But we are getting a little closer to that understanding.
Research published by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology shows that there is a link between time and gravity. In a test of Einstein’s theory of relativity, researchers using two super accurate optical clocks placed one above the other and proved that the clock on the bottom ticked nanoseconds slower than the one above it.
The clocks are based on the oscillations of a single aluminum ion that vibrates between two energy levels a million billion times per second. One clock is accurate to within one second in about 3.7 billion years, and the other is almost as accurate, NIST says.
The clock on the bottom ticked slower, basically, because it is closer to the Earth’s gravitational field and thus “felt” more gravity.
But what are some applications of this knowledge? Any ideas?