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Video 3. How an atomic clock works, and its use in the global positioning system (GPS) by EngineerGuy (2012) Source. Shows how conceptually an atomic clock is based on a feedback loop of two hyperfine structure states of caesium atoms (non-radioactive caesium-133 as clarified by the Wikipedia page). Like a quartz clock, it also relies on the piezoelectricity of quartz, but unlike the quartz clock, the quartz is not shaped like a tuning fork, and has a much larger resonating frequency of about 7 MHz. The feedback is completed by producing photons that resonate at the right frequency to excite the caesium.
Video 4. Inside the HP 5061A Cesium Clock by CuriousMarc (2020) Source.
A similar model was used in the Hafele-Keating experiment to test special relativity on two planes flying in opposite directions. Miniaturization was key.
Contains a disposable tube with 6g of Caesium. You boil it, so when it runs out, you change the tube, 40k USD. Their tube is made by Agilent Technologies, so a replacement since that opened in 1999, and the original machine is from the 60s.
Detection is done with an electron multiplier. They compare it with their 100 dollar GPS disciplined oscillator, since GPS satellites have atomic clocks in them.
Video 5. Quick presentation of the atomic clock at the National Physical Laboratory (2010) Source. Their super accurate setup first does laser cooling on the caesium atoms.


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