Ultraprecise atomic clocks put Einstein’s special relativity to the test

atomic clock
WATCHING THE CLOCK Scientists monitored two atomic clocks for six months in order to test a tenet of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Each clock, like the one shown, contained a single ion of ytterbium.

The ticktock of two ultraprecise clocks has proven Einstein right, once again.

A pair of atomic clocks made of single ions of ytterbium kept pace with one another over six months, scientists report March 13 in Nature. The timepieces’ reliability supports a principle known as Lorentz symmetry. That principle was the foundation for Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which describes the physics of voyagers dashing along at nearly the speed of light.

Lorentz symmetry states that the rules of physics should remain the same whether you’re standing still or

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