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New Atomic Clock Debuts In Boulder, Sets Standard For U.S. Time

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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)- Scientists in Boulder debuted a new atomic clock that will set the standard for the rest of the country.

The NIST-F2 is the new atomic clock. NIST stands for National Institute of Standards and Technology.

A new atomic clock debuted in Boulder that will set the standard for the rest of the U.S. (credit: CBS)

A new atomic clock debuted in Boulder that will set the standard for the rest of the U.S. (credit: CBS)


The F-2 uses atoms to determine the exact length of a second.

“We don’t actually use it as a clock. It doesn’t have hands, it doesn’t tell time. What we use it for is to calibrate how fast or slow, more reliable or less accurate clocks are,” said Project Leader Steve Jefferts. “If they’re running fast we can tell they’re running fast. If they’re slow, they’re slow and they can correct for that.”

The NIST clock’s precise timekeeping supports many activities including telecommunications, power generation, GPS and spacecraft communications.

This is the first new U.S. time standard to be launched since NIST-F1 was announced in 1999.

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