According to a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers at the University of Adelaide have designed the "world's most sensitive thermometer", capable of measuring temperature within 30 billionths of a degree.
The thermometer is said to be as much as three times more precise than the most advanced thermometers available today.
The device takes its readings by injecting red and green lights into a highly polished crystalline disk. The speed at which the two colours travels tells the researchers the exact temperature of the crystal.
"When we heat up the crystal we find that the red light slows down by a tiny amount with respect to the green light," said Professor Luiten, who works at the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.
Luiten says that this technique is so precise that it allows the researchers to view the unceasing fluctuation of atoms in the crystalline material.
And the potential of this breakthrough doesn't end in the scientific world. It's possible that this innovative technique could also have implications for the future of commercial temperature measurement.
"Being able to measure many different aspects of our environment with such a high degree of precision, using instruments small enough to carry around, has the capacity to revolutionise technologies used for a variety of industrial and medical applications where detection of trace amounts has great importance," said Luiten.