Are Atomic Clocks Safe?


Yes, though they might seem dangerous due to their name and the word ” atomic ” attached to them but the word in itself doesn’t stand for anything radioactive but rather comes stands for the accuracy that this clock represents. The accuracy of these clocks comes from ions within the cesium atom and hence as it relies on the atom’s motion for accuracy it was named “Atomic Clock”. To elaborate, they do not rely on atomic decay for their accuracy and have oscillating mass and springs just like the same old analog clocks that we use everywhere

This reliance on atoms and what lies within them for accuracy is what makes them the most accurate time-telling devices. Another important point to note at this time is that most of the atomic clocks ( Radio Clocks ) that we use in the form of analog clocks or watches do not themselves function as an atomic clock for accuracy but rather are connected to actual atomic clocks that function on the movement of cesium atoms, that is why technically they aren’t atomic clocks but rather clocks and watches that rely on atomic clocks for accuracy and their correct name is ” Radio Clocks ” in this aspect.

But these signals receiving clocks are also referred to as atomic clocks and this is what most of you asking the question ” Are Atomic Clocks Safe? ” mean to ask, and hence the answer is “Yes” they are safe

Fun Fact About Atomic Clocks:

The Clock That The U.S. Uses To Calibrate Its Time Is Accurate To A Second In A 100 Million Years. So If You Had Put One Of These Clocks In The Medieval Ages They Will Still Tell The Same Time In This Day And Age.

This does mean that they would be receiving signals from the atomic clocks but this isn’t detrimental to the human who is wearing an atomic watch or near an atomic clock. So, to conclude this means that they are in no way harmful in to humans.

More About Atomic Clock And Why They Aren’t Dangerous

Now that we have discussed whether the receiving radio clocks ( often referred to as the atomic clocks ) are dangerous or not let’s move on to the actual atomic clocks that are connected to the radio clocks, guide them and give them the time to follow

The actual atomic clock uses oscillations between the nucleus of an atom and its surrounding electrons. These oscillations are what make these clocks super accurate. The oscillation frequency between the atoms is determined by the overall mass of the nucleus, the electrostatic force between the positive charges within the nucleus, and the sea of electrons surrounding the nucleus.

A Bit More About Atomic Clocks

You probably have heard of atomic clocks as not are they the most accurate way of measuring time but it is also used scientifically in various ways. The authenticity of it being the most accurate clock can be inferred by the fact that it looses 1 second after every 138 million years. And the recently made atomic clocks go even way beyond that point of accuracy and can cross billions of years without ever losing a second. These are without a doubt big figures. An example of a famous place it is used at is CERN, NASA, and many others.

the basic concept is that all atoms of a given element vibrate or tick the same number of times per second. To elaborate, there are 9,192,631,770 ticks in one second. And though this number seems a bit weird it is quite important. Since today the international standard for what a second is based on that many vibrations/ticks of a cesium atom

Fun Fact

Our GPS Navigational System Relies On Atomic Clocks For Working

Data transmission on the internet, as well as the GPS navigational system and cell phone towers and even the high grid, depends on this clock. In conclusion, our high-speed interconnected world works because we can use different pieces of technology using accurate time. So, you take that out of the way, and say good buy to the internet? And isn’t that just sad?

Moreover, whenever we build a new clock, engineers find some good way to use it. So, in the future, if we develop even more accurate clocks, who knows where they will lead us

Atomic Clocks And Technology

Well, as we have already discussed, atomic clocks have a big impact on our world as a whole. Let’s start with the internet, where exact timings are critical. And atomic clocks as we know by now is what helps with that accuracy. 

Fun Fact

Atomic Clocks Help Run The Internet

Moreover, for GPS satellites to work out your precise position, your timing of the signals it sends and receives has to be super accurate. The signals travel at the speed of light, which means that an error of even a single microsecond error translates to an error of 300 meters on the ground. The timing has to be so precise that even tiny effects like relativity need to be tracked. So we do have Einstein to thank for that because if we didn’t have his equations we wouldn’t have a GPS.

To be exact with each and every microsecond GPS satellites have to carry atomic clocks. The more accurate the clock is, the more accurate GPS can calculate your location

What Is The Most Accurate Atomic Clock?

Strontium Clock, there are many super-accurate atomic clocks and many are being built even as of this moment but the most accurate atomic clock known to the public is the Strontium Clock. it is so accurate that it will be out of sync for only 3.5 ticks out of 10 quintillion and was the first clock to reach such level of precision.

Hopefully, this article was helpful in providing you some good suggestions for atomic digital wall clocks. If you have any clock-related questions, feel free to use the comment section below. And if you want to know why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!Opens in a new tab.“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devicesOpens in a new tab.

AK Iqbal

A University of London’ student with a passion for writing. Clocks have always intrigued me and the importance that they have in our lives is way beyond phenomenal. So, on this site, I write everything about clocks, everything from answering any clock-related queries that you might have along with recommending some of my favorite clocks accordingly. Moreover, I will also be conducting some researches on clock related topics and sharing the things that I learn. So stay tuned to ohmyclock for all the fun clocks related content

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