Caesium beam atomic clocks, 1984

Caesium beam atomic clocks, 1984

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Credit: US NATIONAL ARCHIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caesium beam atomic clocks. Also known as a frequency standard, these atomic clocks uses caesium to measure the exact length of one second. This is a beam type of atomic clock, with radiofrequency fields and magnets and mass spectrometers used to measure the rate of transition between energy levels. Counting these oscillations is the basis for the standard second, the international definition of time. One second is about 9193 million oscillations of caesium-133 atoms. These atomic clocks are being used at the US Naval Observatory, Washington DC, USA, to provide a basis for standard US time and time standards worldwide. Photographed in 1984.

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Keywords: 1900s, 1980s, 1984, 20th century, american, atomic clock, atomic clocks, atomic transitions, caesium, caesium 133, caesium beam, caesium-133, cesium, engineering, equipment, frequency standard, historical, history, international standard, magnets, mass spectrometers, no-one, nobody, north america, north american, oscillations, physical, physics, radiofrequency, spectrometer, standard second, technological, technology, time, time standard, united states, us naval observatory, usa, usno, washington dc

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