Calculating the accuracy of a very accurate clock

I read an article this morning about a new type of clock rivalling the world’s most accurate clocks. But when clocks become more accurate than their predecessors, how can you measure their accuracy? Surely, the fact that you can measure that the new clock is more accurate than the old clock means that you had a mechanism for calculating the inaccuracy of the old clock beforehand, which surely means you had a mechanism, physical or otherwise, for providing a more refined time.

At the time of writing, my clock’s saying 07:41:57 GMT. Make that 58, 59…


One Response to “Calculating the accuracy of a very accurate clock”

  1. Heisenberg on March 13th, 2008 06:35

    Don’t forget real problems that Einstein threw up about trying to synchronise and calibrate multiple clocks in space time wrapped around gravitational fields.

    For me the time is whatever the BBC Breakfast says it is before I go to work.

    Whereas if you are an electron it’s probably a different point of view.

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