Atomic clock ?

  • Thread starter cragar
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  • #1
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So im reading about how an atomic clock works , So they shoot microwaves at cesium atoms
and the right microwaves will cause an electron to jump up to the next energy level , are they using this to tune the microwave laser so they know what the frequency of the laser is .
and when they shoot a photon at the atom , lets say it took x amount of joules to excite the electron to the next energy level wouldn't x+.001 excite the electron to the next orbital , are they using the maser to keep time ?
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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There are some run-on sentences and misused words in there so it is pretty tough to read, but....
...lets say it took x amount of joules to excite the electron to the next energy level wouldn't x+.001 excite the electron to the next orbital...
Sure. I guess you're suggesting that would create a difficulty in tuning the frequency? I don't see why it would: if you're getting the reaction you are looking for, you know you are high and if you aren't, you know you are low.
 
  • #3
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so they tune it just barely to where it is exciting the atoms , it seems like it would be tough to know that you are dead on
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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so they tune it just barely to where it is exciting the atoms , it seems like it would be tough to know that you are dead on
There is no such thing as "dead on" with any measurement, only the illusion of it if your measuring instruments aren't sensitive/accurate/precise enough to measure the deviation.
 
  • #5
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ok , but i am still not clear on what oscillation is used to keep time in the atomic clock .
 
  • #6
Vanadium 50
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Do you know what feedback is? Or how a phase-locked loop works?

I see that a lot of your questions involve very advanced topics - there's a reason that the standard physics curriculum teaches blocks on inclined planes before gluons, black holes and atomic clocks: advanced topics build on the basics.
 
  • #7
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I see that a lot of your questions involve very advanced topics - there's a reason that the standard physics curriculum teaches blocks on inclined planes before gluons, black holes and atomic clocks: advanced topics build on the basics.
Maybe i should wait until i get further into my degree
 

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