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A caesium standard is a primary frequency standard in which electronic transitions between the two hyperfine ground states of caesium-133 atoms are used to control the output frequency.

By the definition of the SI second, the transition between the two hyperfine ground states corresponds, in the absence of external influences (e.g., the Earth's magnetic field), to radiation with a frequency of exactly 9 192 631 770 Hz.

The value 9 192 631 770 Hz was chosen so that the caesium second equalled, to the limit of human measuring ability in 1960 when it was adopted, the existing standard ephemeris second based on the Earth's orbit around the Sun.[1] Because no other measurement involving time had been as precise, the effect of the change was less than the experimental uncertainty of all existing measurements.

See also

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from the General Services Administration document "Federal Standard 1037C" (in support of MIL-STD-188).


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