Scientists have invented a novel time-measuring device that is different to any previous watch as it requires no initial point of reference. The best way to do so was by experimenting with atoms in a so-called Rydberg state — a state in which the electrons from atoms become highly excited and are pushed very far away from their nucleus. During experiments, the physicists excited helium atoms using a laser, while another laser firing short pulses of ultraviolet light measured the spectrum of the Rydberg state atoms.
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