Scientists are working on a new definition of the second

Scientists are working on a new definition of the second

Is the new definition of the second important?

Yes, it affects almost everything we do. If we communicate by phone or if we flow through a glass cable, all this happens at the speed of light. The light turns on quickly. For example, if you take a millionth of a second, the light is already 300 meters away. So it’s really about the distances around us getting more precise. When I drive to the NPO, I use my GPS, so we’ve become completely dependent on that technology. This illustrates this again. We really need to understand that in more detail.

Should the second be longer or shorter?

“It has to be recorded more precisely. So the question is: What exactly is one second? I would really love to see what they’re going to do with that. Because if you can measure it more accurately, what can you do at first?”

For example, measuring your location via GPS. When you turn your phone on, it finds those four satellites floating somewhere in space and sees how long it takes to send a signal up and down. This allows you to set your own distance. One billionth of a second equals about thirty centimeters. So you can pinpoint your location very precisely. But you also use it, for example, to balance all other Internet connections. The same goes for buying stocks. All of these things are going really fast. Then you suddenly have that moment: “Wow, we live in a world where a billionth of a second is such a big deal!”

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