[time-nuts] Atomic Watch.
gxti at partiallystapled.com
Wed May 1 13:48:06 EDT 2013
On 5/1/2013 11:40, Sarah White wrote:
> I tweeted the author of this article, trying to point out that (as I
> understand) "radioactive decay" is not relevant in any way for cesium
> frequency standard/reference thingies:
> If someone more authoritative and/or experienced (or at least more
> awake) wanted, please let me know if I was confused and such
Symmetricom doesn't go out of their way to say how the damn thing
actually works, but it sure isn't radioactive decay. Decay is entirely
unpredictable due to the nature of quantum mechanics and can only be
described in statistical terms (averages and probabilities). But it's a
very common misconception that I, too, once held. To most people,
"atomic" means radioactive, fissioning, or fusioning.
This seems to be the technology being used, it looks similar in a broad
sense to a Rb oscillator but without the microwave excitation:
CSAC has definitely been discussed here before but the threads my
searches are turning up do not seem to investigate its theory of operation.
As for the article, The Register is not an outlet known for precise
reporting. Take it as a journalistic liberty.
NB: Your tweet is not visible to me, so it's somewhat difficult to
-- m. tharp
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