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About this collection

The Atomic Clock Photographic Collection is comprised of images documenting the development of the atomic clocks that were part of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) Atomic Time System. The NBS atomic clock program sought to provide a spectroscopic standard capable of being used as a new atomic standard of time and frequency to replace the mean solar day and so change the arbitrary units of time to atomic ones. With such a clock, new precise values might be found for the velocity of light; new measurements of the rotation of the earth; and new measurements of the mean sidereal year might test whether Newtonian and atomic time are the same, yielding important results for relativity theory and cosmology [from: Measures for Progress by R. Cochrane, p. 476].

 

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