Caesium atomic clock, 1955.

Made:
1955 in England, London, Richmond upon Thames and Teddington
NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic

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NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

NPL caesium atomic clock of 1955 (less associated electronic equipment). A National Physical Laboratory caesium atomic
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Caesium atomic clock made by Louis Essen and J.V.L. Parry at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, London, 1955.

This clock is the first successful atomic clock. It was built by L Essen and J V L Parry at the National Physical Laboratory in England in 1955. It measured time by means of a change of state in atoms of caesium, and was accurate to a second in 300 years - about 30 times better than the quartz crystal clocks introduced in the 1930s and 300 times better than the most accurate pendulum clocks which had been the best timekeepers until then. Atomic clocks are so accurate that they have revealed irregularities in the rotation of the Earth, so time is now defined in terms of measurements with atomic clocks, instead of the astronomical observations which had been used for hundreds of years. The latest atomic clocks are accurate to about one second in a million years.

Details

Category:
Time Measurement
Object Number:
1962-59
type:
atomic clocks and clocks
credit:
National Physical Laboratory