The atomic clocks that keep satellites and your smartphone on time

The US Naval Observatory is home to a set of incredibly precise atomic clocks that record America’s official time. Its clocks are relied upon for a vast range of functions, from providing the time on your smartphone lock screen, to keeping GPS satellites accurate in their calculations. The clocks, and the service they provide, are presided over by Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, chief scientist for the observatory’s time services department. Matsakis describes their importance and operation in a video interview with The Atlantic.

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