Atomic and Molecular Oscillators
Studies of radiation in the microwave region of the spectrum really became possible through what amounted to a crash program during World War II to develop the technology necessary to support the new invention: RADAR. Radiation laboratories sprang up at a number of universities in the USA, notably at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and elsewhere. Before the war, a microwave generator called a magnetron had been invented which later evolved into the resonator cavity magnetron, a powerful microwave oscillator used in RADAR during the war. Of course now magnetrons are in every home in the industrialized world; they power the microwave ovens. Just prior to the start of the war in Europe in 1939, two brothers by the name of Varian invented at Stanford University a microwave tube called a klystron which was tunable and produced a stable output of microwaves with wavelengths ranging from millimeters to several centimeters. Incidentally the same Varian brothers developed the sputter-ion pump that made the achievement of ultrahigh vacuum universally available on a large scale, for example, in space simulators at NASA, or large particle accelerators.
KeywordsAtomic Beam Microwave Field Allan Variance Microwave Cavity Atomic Flux
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