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This talk will provide an introduction to how and why time is measured, with an emphasis on OLCs and their applications. I will discuss recent progress on pushing OLCs to even greater levels of precision, as well as prospects for future improvement. I also will present results from a recent experiment in which we harnessed the precision of an OLC to simulate complex condensed matter phenomena. Finally, I will give a brief overview of potential future applications of OLCs, including gravitational wave detection, tests of general relativity, and searches for physics beyond the Standard Model.