[time-nuts] So what’s inside that Cs Beam Tube anyway?

Attila Kinali attila at kinali.ch
Wed Nov 2 17:09:53 EDT 2016

On Wed, 2 Nov 2016 12:04:41 -0400
"William H. Fite" <omniryx at gmail.com> wrote:

> I may be missing something (as I often do) but why not just buy some
> cesium? About ten bucks a gram for high-purity metal in glass ampoules.

No, you aren't missing anything. That's what you actually would do
if you were in a undergrad lab and doing atomic spectroscopy experiments
in high vacuum. You use one of these ampoules, put them in the chamber,
evacuate, then break the ampoul to let the caesium out and tadaaaa! you
have lots of caesium vapor around to play with.

But with a beam tube you need to get the caesium into the oven assembly.
And that's the hard part. The build up of these ovens is rather simple:
You have a small cavity, in which the caesium is contained. to one side
you have small tubes, all parallel and with very small diameter that
act as a collimator (aka make the atoms that are comming out fly in one
direction only). Unless the oven assembly is made to be opened and refilled,
refilling through these tubes is basically impossible. In case you actually
have the equipment to open up, close again and evacuate a beam tube, you
probably also be able to build a new oven assembly and use that instead.

				Attila Kinali
Malek's Law:
        Any simple idea will be worded in the most complicated way.

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