Scheduled System Maintenance:
On Monday, April 27th, IEEE Xplore will undergo scheduled maintenance from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET (17:00 - 19:00 UTC). No interruption in service is anticipated.
By Topic

The development of an international atomic time scale

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

1 Author(s)
Barnes, J.A. ; National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, Colo.

The paper reviews briefly the methods of generating atomic time and the errors inherent in the resulting scales. An atomic clock consists of an atomic frequency standard and an "integrator" to accumulate the phase of the signal. Because of noise perturbing the instantaneous frequency, an ensemble of identical atomic clocks will show a distribution of (epoch) times which is unbounded as the system evolves in time. The recognition of this problem has important consequences in national and international coordination of time scales and the construction of average atomic time scales. Also of significance is the not completely resolved question of weighting of individual standards in the construction of average time scales. In spite of these difficulties, it is pointed out that through coordination and proper data handling, most of the advantages of astronomical time scales can be realized by atomic time scales. A statement of some of the problems facing any attempts at coordination is presented without any suggested solutions.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 6 )