Atomic clocks are the most accurate timekeepers in the world, but a “nuclear clock” would be even better. An international team of researchers from the University of New South Wales, the University of Nevada, and Georgia Tech have propsed a new kind of atomic timekeeper that wouldn’t lose or gain 1/20th of a second in 14 billion years (that's roughly the age of the entire universe). It would be 100 times more accurate than the best atomic clocks we have right now, the researchers claim.
Conventional atomic clocks keep time by the orbit of an electron around an atom, using the electron as a sort of pendulum that ticks off units of time at highly regular intervals. But the new proposal calls for using lasers to orient the electrons in an atom in such a precise way that a clock could actually see beyond them to use a neutron orbiting the atom’s nucleus as a timekeeper.