How many oscillations does a caesium atomic clock make in a day?

Asked by:
Joanna

Answer

Let us start with the definition of the second:

'The second is the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation corresponding
to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the
cesium 133 atom.'

So a cesium atomic clock would make just over 9 billion oscillations_per _second (OPS).
Finding how many oscillations_per_day (OPD) is just a matter of multiplication:

OPD = OPS x 60 x 60 x 24

Where OPD is oscillations per day, and OPS is oscillations per second.

So we find out that the number of oscillations per second is:

794 243 384 928 000

That's 7.94 x 10^{14} in scientific notation...
Answered by:
Yasar Safkan, Ph.D., Sofware Engineer, Noktalar A.S., Istanbul, Turkey

'There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there. All great discoveries have involved such a leap. The important thing is not to stop questioning.'