Atomic Clocks and Time Scales



This chapter presents atomic frequency standards with high-stability frequency of oscillations. Also discussed is the Allan variance used for measuring the frequency fluctuations in such standards. We present the design of the 9.2 GHz cesium standard, which is presently the most important atomic standard. We discuss the directions of development and the metrological parameters of cesium atomic standards: more complicated and expensive, but providing better accuracy cesium fountain standards, and much cheaper miniature cesium standards with the size of a matchbox. Also discussed are other frequency standards: hydrogen masers, rubidium standards and the currently implemented standards with a visible wavelength. Optical frequency standards are potentially 105 times more stable than the cesium standard, though at present their actual stability is only 10 times higher. Together with the optical frequency standards we discuss the optical comb, used for mapping frequencies of the order of 1014 Hz to MHz frequencies. Also discussed are the major time scales, the International Atomic Time (TAI) and the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), as well as the role of satellite navigation systems (GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou) in the dissemination of the standard time signal.


Global Position System Frequency Standard Atomic Clock Allan Variance Optical Frequency Comb 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Electronics and TelecommunicationsPoznan University of TechnologyPoznanPoland

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