How does an atomic clock work?


How does an atomic clock work?

In: Technology

I don’t know if this should fit under Technology flair or Physics flair

This is a good explaination:


A digital clock uses a quartz crystal that is essentially a tuning fork. The tuning fork vibrates at a determined rate, which is “converted” to seconds using computer logic gates. The quartz crystal is very accurate, but will still have tendency to slow down and lose time.

The atomic portion of the clock is a radioactive material with a known decay rate, which senses when the quartz crystal is losing time. The crystal is corrected by re-absorbing a specific amount of the radioactive particles.