Now Playing

The Forever Clock

How to tell time after the universe ends.

Wanna live forever? Sorry, don’t count on it.

But an international team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is creating something called a “space-time crystal” that will keep on telling time forever. The idea is to trap ions in a tiny ring and then start them rotating (like gears in a watch) by subjecting them to a static magnetic field.

“The important thing,” says Tongcang Li, a physicist on the project, “is that the magnetic field can be from a solid magnet that does not consume energy.” Now if only they could figure out how to do that for humans. The only problem is, they would have to cool you to absolute zero to make it work.


Read More of Our Innovation Almanac:
Stanford's Benign Mind Control
The Forever Clock
Bacteria Mapper
Fire Station Health Care

Cree: Building the Future
No More Double Clicking
A Friendlier Vibrator
Social Networking for Disaster Prep


Have feedback? Email us at

Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Scott Lucas on Twitter @ScottLucas86