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Atomic Clocks

Atomic Clocks:

India is deploying atomic clocks nationwide to synchronize all digital devices with Indian Standard Time, enhancing uniformity and national security.

  • An atomic clock is a highly accurate timekeeping device that combines a quartz crystal oscillator with an atom, typically caesium or hydrogen, to measure time precisely.
  • It uses the consistent frequency of atoms to maintain accurate time, making it more stable than conventional quartz clocks.
  • It was Invented in 1955 by Louise Essen. It combines a quartz crystal oscillator with an atom for precise timekeeping.
  • Types of Atomic Clocks Caesium and hydrogen maser atomic clocks
  • Hydrogen maser clocks are more accurate and used in scientific research.
  • Quartz crystal oscillators are commonly used in modern clocks, vibrating at a precise frequency when voltage is applied.
  • However, they become slightly slow every hour and require frequent adjustments.
  • Atomic clocks are like super accurate timekeepers.
  • They use special atoms, usually caesium atoms, which vibrate at a very steady rate.
  • By sending microwaves to these atoms, we can make them vibrate even more regularly.
  • Then, we compare these vibrations with the vibrations of a quartz crystal in a regular clock.
  • The most advanced atomic clocks lose just one second every 300 billion years.
  • Atomic Clocks in India Council of Industrial and Scientific Research(CSIR)-National Physical Laboratories (NPL) New Delhi maintains Indian Standard Time with caesium and hydrogen maser clocks.
  • CSIR-NPL are now setting up new atomic clocks in Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, and Hyderabad, in addition to the existing ones in Faridabad and Ahmedabad. By June, these new clocks will be installed, and the government will require all device manufacturers to sync with Indian Standard Time.
  • Currently, timekeeping relies on satellites, but the government aims to connect all atomic clocks using optical cables for enhanced security.