Hey, what time is it?

By Doug Gritzmacher

Denver Director of Photography & Cinematographer

Atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado

One of the things I love about my job is I never know where I may find myself. Case in point, this week I found myself around the world’s most accurate clock. Pictured above (with my head poking in the background) is the NIST-F1, a cesium fountain clock at the University of Colorado’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. It serves as the US’s primary time and frequency standard. It is 10 times more accurate than the previous incarnation, the NIST-7.


As it turns out this is only part of the clock. The entire apparatus actually spans several rooms connected by various cables, cables that were everywhere. The producer and I made sure to step around carefully, lest we were to trip over one and accidentally unplug it. We wondered, if that happened, would time stop?

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