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Frequency-Impulse Modulation as a Means of Attaining Accuracy in Cesium Atomic Clocks

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3 Author(s)

An electronic system has been developed which corrects for cavity-detuning errors in cesium atomic-beam frequency standards. The RF signal applied to the beam tube is square-wave phase modulated, i.e., frequency-impulse modulated. The transient response of the beam tube to these phase steps is used as a control signal. When the positive and negative transients are both equal in area and identical in shape, it will be shown that the applied RF signal must be exactly at cesium frequency (for the given magnetic field) and the RF cavities must be exactly in tune. Two feedback loops are needed; one for correcting the crystal oscillator, the other for adjusting the relative phase of the RF cavities. With cavity detuning error greatly reduced by this system, the remaining source of inaccuracy is the uncertainty of the magnetic field in the drift region of the beam tube. An experiment is described which may permit setting a given cesium-beam standard to a frequency that differs by a precisely known amount from the zero-field cesium-resonance frequency.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement  (Volume:IM-13 ,  Issue: 4 )