How an atomic clock works

Bill Hammack shows the world’s smallest atomic clock and then describes how the first one made in the 1950s worked. He describes in detail the use of cesium vapor to create a feedback or control loop to control a quartz oscillator. He highlights the importance of atomic team by describing briefly how a GPS receiver uses four satellites to find its position.

We take lots of things for granted in this world; GPS, the internet and of course particle accelerators. However, none of these things would be possible without atomic clocks.

How Long Is One Second, Really?
Do we really know how long a second is? The science behind how time is actually measured may prove you wrong.

Inside The Most Precise Atomic Clock in the World
From his basement lab in Boulder, Colorado, physicist Jun Ye and his team have built the world’s most precise atomic clock. The clock is so powerful it can measure otherwise imperceptible changes in the physical world. “Have you ever seen the movie called Interstellar? You’ll see some of that in our lab, it’s not science fiction. You can actually see clocks slow down,” explains Ye. In episode seven of The Most Unknown, geobiologist Victoria Orphan travels to JILA—a physics institute jointly operated by the University of Colorado Boulder and NIST—to untangle questions of space and time with Ye and his otherworldly atomic clock.

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