An atomic clock measured how general relativity warps time across a millimeter

A millimeter might not seem like much. But even a distance that small can alter the flow of time.

According to Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity, clocks tick faster the farther they are from Earth or another massive object (SN: 10/4/15). Theoretically, that should hold true even for very small differences in the heights of clocks. Now an incredibly sensitive atomic clock has spotted that speedup across a millimeter-sized sample of atoms, revealing the effect over a smaller height difference than ever before. Time moved slightly faster at the top of that sample than at the bottom, researchers report September 24 at arXiv.org.

“This is fantastic,” says theoretical

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