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Perfectly accurate clocks not possible?

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perfect clock impossible/Hayati Kayhan, Fotolia

Rats.

From ScienceDaily:

Can the passage of time be measured precisely, always and everywhere? The answer will upset many watchmakers. A team of physicists have just shown that when we are dealing with very large accelerations, no clock will actually be able to show the real passage of time, known as ‘proper time.’

“Our calculations showed that above certain very large accelerations there simply must be time disorders in the decay of elementary particles. And if the disturbances affect fundamental clocks such as muons, then any other device built on the principles of quantum field theory will also be disrupted. Therefore, perfectly precise measurements of proper time are no longer possible. This fact has further consequences, because losing the ability to accurately measure the passage of time also means problems with the measurements of distance,” explains Dr. Dragan.

Until now it has been assumed that the concepts of time and space may lose their traditional senses only when certain phenomena predicted by hypothetical theories of quantum gravity begin to play a vital role. It is believed that the necessary conditions prevailed in the vicinity of the Big Bang.

“In our paper, we show that for problems with the measurements of space-time to arise, such extreme conditions are not needed at all. Time, and therefore space, most likely cease to be accurately measurable even in today’s Universe, provided that we try to carry out the measurements in systems moving with great acceleration,” notes Dr. Dragan. More.

Here’s the abstract:

We show that no device built according to the rules of quantum field theory can measure proper time along its path. Highly accelerated quantum clocks experience the Unruh effect, which inevitably influences their time rate. This contradicts the concept of an ideal clock, whose rate should only depend on the instantaneous velocity. (paywall) –Krzysztof Lorek, Jorma Louko, Andrzej Dragan. Ideal clocks—a convenient fiction. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 2015; 32 (17): 175003 DOI: 10.1088/0264-9381/32/17/175003

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG See also: Economist: Can time go backwards ? No, apparently. Rats again.

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4 Replies to “Perfectly accurate clocks not possible?

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    Very interesting. Lots of cool stuff in the Science Daily article.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    Rolex Submariner – rated to depths of 300 meters: $6500

    Rolex Spacetraveler – rated to speeds of 300 miles per second: $25,000

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    Rolex Timetraveler – priceless

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    Dr dragon? ntways AMEN. Why did they presume they KNEW these clocks of rates of nature could not be tampered with by time or anything they never imagined.
    In fact these clocks make conclusions when there is no way to test if the clocks work?
    if there was there wouldn’t be this new study with researchers getting money for it and applause for discovery.
    ID also errs here on presuming clocks and time in the story of biology.
    its not rock solid these obscure things prove long time.
    Without time evolution and some criticism of it flop.
    Biology should only be proved on biology except for the bible.

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