[time-nuts] Cs tube pics

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Tue Nov 1 01:18:07 EDT 2016

> Thanks for the other good links as well.  Your pictures at HP are archived
> in Google somewhere, as I ran across at least one in my preliminary
> research.

Hi Skip,

Ah, now I know what you mean. Around 2005 I took a set of cesium beam tube photos within the semi-public viewing area at hp/Agilent, Santa Clara. These are mostly similar to yours, with some additional tear down of the tube to expose pieces on the ends and middle. The link is here:


So if you keep hacking on your tube(s) you should get to the same point as they did. If nothing else, you can use my photos of hp's display as a hint of where and where not to cut! Note that the shinny copper will look fantastic at first but may dull over time. The chemists on the list can recommend how to preserve it.

When you're all done you'll realize just how amazing it is that an entire atomic physics laboratory can be reduced to the size of a 2L water bottle, with a 68000 CPU playing the role of the grad student. It can run 24x7 for 10 to 20 years and remain accurate to better than 1e-13. That's why everyone should own a cesium standard after they grow tired of playing with GPSDO.


More information about the time-nuts mailing list