The Classical Atomic Clocks

  • F. G. Major


In trying to describe the workings of an atomic clock we are inevitably led into a world where a different language is spoken: the language of quantum mechanics; we shall encounter terms such as quantum states, quantum transitions, and even quantum degeneracy. Fortunately for us it is possible to derive useful results concerning the motion and radiative behavior of atoms without adhering to the strict quantum formulation of modern theory. In fact the early development of quantum theory went through a stage where certain quantum ideas were grafted onto the classical theory of mechanics and electromagnetism.


Angular Momentum External Magnetic Field Orbital Angular Momentum Total Angular Momentum Microwave Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    H.A. Lorentz, The Theory of Electrons, 2nd edn. (Dover, New York, NY, 1952)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    G. Herzberg, Atomic Spectra and Atomic Structure, 2nd edn. (Dover, New York, NY, 2010)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.S. Longair, Theoretical Concepts in Physics (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984), p. 32Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Louis de Broglie, Matter and Light, Dover English edition 1939Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.P. Feynman, R.B. Leighton, M. Sands, Lectures on Physics, vol. III (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1965)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    N.F. Ramsey, Molecular Beams (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1990). new ednGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    N.F. Ramsey, loc cit. p. 86Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    R.H. Dicke, The Effect of Collisions Upon the Doppler Width. Phys. Rev. 89, 472–73 (1953)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    N.F. Ramsey, op. citGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    H. Margenau, G.M. Murphy, The Mathematics of Physics and Chemistry, 2nd edn. (Young Press, 2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. G. Major
    • 1
  1. 1.Severna ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations