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Atoms & Forces

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station toast people back home with water recycled from their urine. A new system not only would turn pee into drinking water but also produce energy.

Not your grandfather clock, even if it is ceiling height. This is NIST-F2, the world’s most accurate atomic clock. It’s lead designer, Steven Jefferts, is at right, with colleague Tom Heavner looking on. 

As cesium atoms inside the atomic clock known as NIST-F2 pass through the combined focal point of six lasers, they instantly get stopped, cooled and quickly collected into a ball.  

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