New Clock May End Time As We Know It. That’s the amusingly hyperbolic headline that caught me. What it means: someone has made a new clock so precise that it feels the effect of gravity on time over human-scale distances — like the ceiling versus the floor — which is awkward when the concept of “the time” has always been arbitrary, based on agreement between the worlds best clocks. All the other clocks tell us the official time with great confidence, but this new one says, “You reckon? What if I just check again for you… in the basement? Oh, snap! It’s different down there! And, uh oh… it’s different again on the roof!”
This article kind of makes it sound like it’s slightly shocking news that there is no absolute reference for “the” time, when it’s much more a case of “we knew that, but it didn’t really matter until we made this freakishly precise new clock.” But damn, that is some clock.
P.S. I liked this bit:
The crazy thing is, despite knowing the time better than almost anyone on Earth, O'Brian can't explain time.
Is that really crazy? Or is that just an unreasonable expectation? C’mon, O’Brian: SPLAIN TIME PLZ!!!