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Is the oscillation of energy levels of caesium in atomic clocks a form of motion (i. e. is time always a measurement of movement of matter)?
asked Gary Wederspahn
The Oscillations in cesium clock is not mechanical. the radiation emission frequency between the two hyperfine levels of the atom is used as the standard for measuring time. Due to the fact that the standardisation of time is based on radiations, the atomic clocks are also called radio clocks.
Caesium clocks are the most accurate commercially produced time and frequency standards, and serve as the primary standard for the definition of the second in SI (the metric system). By definition, radiation produced by the transition between the two hyperfine ground states of caesium (in the absence of external influences such as the Earth’s magnetic field) has a frequency of exactly 9,192,631,770 Hz. That value was chosen so that the caesium second equalled, to the limit of human measuring ability in 1960 when it was adopted,
Very accurate clocks can be constructed by locking an electronic oscillator to the frequency of an atomic transition. The frequencies associated with such transitions are so reproducible that the definition of the second is now tied to the frequency associated with a transition in cesium-133:
The oscillation in an atomic clock is between the nucleus of an atom and the surrounding electrons. This oscillation is not exactly a parallel to the balance wheel and hairspring of a clockwork watch, but the fact is that both use oscillations to keep track of passing time. The oscillation frequencies within the atom are determined by the mass of the nucleus and the gravity and electrostatic “spring” between the positive charge on the nucleus and the electron cloud surrounding it.
The 24 satellites that orbit the earth and define the Global Positioning System use
precision atomic clocks that are accurate to 1 x 10-9 s, or 1 nanosecond (1ns). A person on the earth, using their mobile phone, can usually “see” 4-12 of the 24 satellites at any one time.
The satellites are moving, relative to the surface of the earth, at 1.4 x 104 km/h.
a- Calculate for one of these satellites,
Civilian GPS measurements have to be accurate at the level of 5-10m. How accurate must our knowledge of the clocks on the satellites be in order to achieve this level of accuracy in our position measurement?
[HINT: light signals are used by your phone and the satellites to perform the triangulation]
c-If we measure the passage of 1 day on earth using a clock that is identical to the clocks on the GPS satellites, how much time have the clocks on the satellites measured? What about for the passage of 2 days on earth? For this problem, it will be useful to apply the Binomial Expansion again