In the evolution of clocks through the ages, there has been a progression from the use of periodic systems on a large scale with relatively slow movement to increasingly smaller, delicately operated devices running at very much higher frequencies. The large, elaborately built water clocks of China and the pendulum clocks of a later age were by the very nature of their mechanical design vastly more susceptible to environmental sources of error than the balance wheel and ultimately the quartz-controlled clock. The next step in this progression is no less revolutionary than the one from a pendulum to the quartz oscillator; it is clocks based on atomic resonators.
KeywordsAngular Momentum Selection Rule Circular Polarization Atomic Beam Magnetic Dipole Moment
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