[time-nuts] Thinking outside the box a super reference

Richard (Rick) Karlquist richard at karlquist.com
Fri Nov 4 20:42:21 EDT 2016

On 11/4/2016 5:24 PM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
> Yes, that sounds about right for an isotope with a 40 billion years
> half-life.

The problem with the half life number is that the cylinder
still was marked "radioactive" complex with the radiation
symbol.  Radioactivity (for legal purposes) is a binary
property.  We used to mark CBT's "cesium device, non radioactive"
because the work "cesium" means "cesium 137 nuclear fallout"
to many people.

Reminds me of an interesting Jack Kusters story.
There was some customer who was having problems with
his atomic clocks being noisy (I don't remember exactly
the story) but the bottom line was that they determined
it was because of helium contamination.  Kusters was
called in to answer to the customer about this contamination
and how they were going to fix it.  Kusters measured the
air in the customer's plant and found that in contained
helium.  But the customer did not use helium at all in the
plant.  Kusters pointed out that that could mean only one
thing:  the plant had a radon problem, and radon breaks down
into helium.  Kusters told the customer that if they
dropped the complaint, he wouldn't have to say anything
about radon to anyone.  That was the last heard about the
helium problem.


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