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Atomic clocks and temperature

  1. Mar 27, 2009 #1
    Are atomic clocks such as the NIST-F1 Cesium Fountain Atomic Clock

    http://tf.nist.gov/cesium/fountain.htm"

    sensitive to the ambient temperature

    Or do they keep very accurate time regardless of the ambient temperature?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 27, 2009 #2

    mgb_phys

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    They aren't affected by the outside temperature, but their ultimate precision does depend on temperature. The atoms used are heated to form a gas and because of the temperature the lines of atomic transitions are slightly broadened - some newer designs use atoms held (almost) motionless at low temperatures in laser traps to improve the accuracy.
     
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