Experiments with Separated Oscillatory Fields and Hydrogen Masers

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Science  29 Jun 1990:
Vol. 248, Issue 4963, pp. 1612-1619
DOI: 10.1126/science.248.4963.1612


Descriptions are given of the methods of separated and successive oscillatory fields and of the atomic hydrogen maser. Their applications to the precision spectroscopy of atoms and molecules are discussed along with specific examples of fundamental measurements best made with such devices. The applications of these methods to atomic clocks are discussed. Cesium-separated oscillatory fields atomic beam clocks are accurate to 10-13, and hydrogen masers are stable for several hours to 10-15. A discussion is given of fundamental experiments that require highly stable clocks, such as long-base-line radio astronomy, precise measurement of pulsar frequencies and stabilities, tests of relativity theories, and accurate navigation both on the earth and in outer space.

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