Researcher with He/Ne laser in NIST-7 atomic clock

Researcher with He/Ne laser in NIST-7 atomic clock

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Caption: David Wineland of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) checking a helium/neon laser of the NIST-7 atomic clock. This clock uses a variety of different lasers. The He/Ne laser is used to count the oscillations of excited hydrogen ions held within an ion trap. Counting these oscillations is the key to the extreme accuracy of NIST-7, expected to be one billionth of a second per day. The ion trap allows ions to be observed for up to ten minutes at a time, a vast improvement on the 10 millisecond observation time in conventional caesium atomic clocks. NIST-7 is expected to become operational in 1992.

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Keywords: atomic, atomic clock, clock, he/ne laser, helium/neon, high-tech, laser, lasers, nist-7, scientific, technology, time keeping

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