New atomic clock won’t lose or gain a single second in 15 billion years

Deborah Netburn, for LA Times:

But the clock isn’t just steady, it’s also amazingly accurate. So accurate in fact, that it can detect tiny changes in the speed of its ticks depending on whether it is 2 centimeters closer or farther from the center of Earth.

“Time can be intricately connected to gravity,” said Jun Ye, a physicist at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado, Boulder. “It sounds like science fiction, but these measurements are a reality.”

Time is one of those torments that makes less sense to me the more I think about it. We experience its passage, though there’s a very good chance that humans can only peer at a sliver of time’s entirety through a perceptual slit. Do a search for “why does time move at a certain rate?” and you’ll get more scientific papers than you have time to read. Still… that doesn’t mean that the devising of a means of measuring its relative passage under predictable circumstances isn’t a valuable pursuit. Right?