Thursday, 05 May, 2011 Technology
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Latest Invention: World's Smallest Atomic Clock Now Commercially Available

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The smallest atomic clock in the world is now commercially available, wearing a price tag of $1,500.

Being the size of a matchbook, the new clock is 100 times smaller than its forerunner. It would be interesting to note that the tiny atomic clock was developed by a group of researchers at Symmetricom Inc. Draper Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

Dubbed, Chip Scale Atomic Clock (CSAC), the device requires only 1/100th of the power, at only 100 milliwatts. It functions by counting the rate of electromagnetic waves that are emitted cesium atoms when these are hit by a tiny laser beam.

Although the clock doesn't really show the time, its inventors claim that the device can be used in a variety of applications. For example, miners or divers who are unable to use GPS devices, the signals of which can be blocked by natural barriers, would have the possibility to plan precise operations with their remote team members. This is due to the fact that their timing would diverge from each other by less than a millionth of a second per day.

In addition, the atomic clock could be used in electromagnetic interference to block telephone signals from detonating IEDs. It is worth mentioning that the project was funded by DARPA.

[via Discovery Magazine]

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