[time-nuts] hm H Maser

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 10 12:45:20 EST 2017

On 1/10/17 7:35 AM, Ole Petter Rønningen wrote:
> ... having said that, I for one think I'm with Bob on this one. The
> thing about masers are that they are big. At least active masers. And
> they require a substantial volume be kept at ultra high vacuum -
> which is not trivial, especially not in a homeshop. The cavity needs
> to be kept at a temperature stable to 0.001 degree C. With 4-5
> magnetic shields. Add to this costly pumps to keep the vacuum this
> low even if you succeed at reaching that vacuum.. There's easily
> 1-2KUSD running cost per year just to keep the maser running.

Lots of people spend $4/day on coffee.. that's $1200/yr..
I'd give up a cup of coffee to run a AHM <grin>

> Granted, I've never built a maser, but personally I think the
> problems that would need to solving (and lead to learning) would be
> much more on the vacuum-systems, shielding and temperature long
> before electronics becomes a major factor.

This fits in the bucket of a cross-disciplinary project, like building a 
fusor, or a pulsed TEA laser, a Bose-Einstein Condensate generator, or 
any of a variety of similar projects.

You can almost always find a commercial solution that can do it 
better/cheaper/more reliably - but the learning experience is valuable. 
I have almost zero desire to fool with high vacuum systems again, but 
the time I did it, I learned a lot.

And the chance of
> actually get a result comparable to a commercial maser (or even just
> better than what you could realistically pick up from ebay for a few
> K) are pretty slim. And LOT of time and cash would be burned before
> you are even close to getting some sort of oscillation.
> A rubidium does look like a more realistic project..
> Dont get me wrong - it would be beyond cool if someone built a
> homemade maser. The first ones were built by regular people in
> regular labs, so sure it can be done.

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