Keeping Perfect Time With Caged Atoms

Porfyrakis, K and Laird, E A (2017) Keeping Perfect Time With Caged Atoms. IEEE Spectrum, 54. p. 34.

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For Fridtjof Nansen, 13 April 1895 started well. Six days earlier, the Norwegian explorer had set a new record for the closest approach to the North Pole, and now he was moving quickly over unbroken sea ice toward Cape Fligely and home. But then came a sickening realization: In his eagerness to break camp, he had forgotten to wind the chronometers. He had lost track of precise time, and thus the ability to track his longitude. Although Nansen couldn't have lost his position by more than a few minutes, it forced him to take a circuitously conservative route to avoid being swept into the North Atlantic. His expedition thus had to endure a hungry winter, camped on an unknown shore. Not until June the following year did he encounter other explorers and learn his true position-on Cape Felder, in Franz Josef Land.

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IEEE Spectrum
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06 Jun 2018 15:46
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18 Sep 2023 01:21