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Atomic clock ?

  1. Jul 5, 2010 #1
    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 ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2010 #2

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    There are some run-on sentences and misused words in there so it is pretty tough to read, but....
    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.
     
  4. Jul 5, 2010 #3
    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
     
  5. Jul 5, 2010 #4

    russ_watters

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    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.
     
  6. Jul 6, 2010 #5
    ok , but i am still not clear on what oscillation is used to keep time in the atomic clock .
     
  7. Jul 6, 2010 #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.
     
  8. Jul 6, 2010 #7
    Maybe i should wait until i get further into my degree
     
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