Itano, Wayne M. U.S. Department of Commerce, Time and Frequency Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado.
Last reviewed:October 2019
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A device that uses an internal resonance frequency of atoms (or molecules) to measure the passage of time. The terms atomic clock and atomic frequency standard are often used interchangeably. A frequency standard generates pulses at regular intervals. A frequency standard can be made into a clock by the addition of an electronic counter, which records the number of pulses. See also: Digital counter
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