atomic clock

World’s first caesium atomic clock, developed at the UK National Physical Laboratory in 1955.
Optical atomic clock

Atomic clocks are the most accurate time and frequency standards known, and are used as primary standards for international time distribution services, to control the wave frequency of television broadcasts, and in global navigation satellite systems such as GPS. The principle of operation of an atomic clock is based on atomic physics; it uses the microwave signal that electrons in atoms emit when they change energy levels. – This public service is cooperatively provided by the two time agencies of the United States: a Department of Commerce agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the U. S. Naval Observatory (USNO). Readings from the clocks of these agencies contribute to world time, called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The time maintained by both agencies should never differ by more than 0.000 0001 seconds from UTC