Home Continuing Series Historical Horology Historical Horology: The Quest For Accuracy

Historical Horology: The Quest For Accuracy



$(KGrHqF,!g8E8fYjq8H(BP(ymLQ+j!~~60_35When it comes to horology of any sort, be it clocks or watches, greater accuracy is one of those things that has always been chased.  To be sure, those early pocket watches wouldn’t be considered remotely accurate by today’s standards – but they were, indeed, more accurate than trying to tell the time by looking at the sun, or guessing how long it had been since the bells of the local church rang.

And even with as accurate as things are these days, there are scientists pushing further in this arena.  Just recently, physicists created a clock that can measure down to  1018 of a second.  As to why?  Well, this allows for a clock that only loses a second every 31 billion years.  Additionally, it allows it to sense (this, I’m not quite sure how) differences in height at an accuracy of around 1 cm.  I’m sure there are quite a few fields that could make use of this.

Yb clock


As to how it’s done?  Well, the folks at NIST created something that they call an “optical lattice clock”.  They do this by bouncing a laser off of a mirror in such a way that they create a standing wave of light, that becomes a lattice wherein they trap ytterbium atoms.  At least, that’s as far as I can understand it.  If your grasp of physics is a bit better than mine, or you simply would like to read more, the full article can be found here.


Thank you for reading this WristWatchReview post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

WristWatchReview is one of the few remaining truly independent watch news outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent watch sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis. We don't play the games the other sites play and we've paid for it when it comes to ad revenue.

We would love for you to support us on Patreon and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The WWR Team


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.