atomic clock


Definition of atomic clock

: a precision clock that depends for its operation on an electrical oscillator regulated by the natural vibration frequencies of an atomic system (such as a beam of cesium atoms)

Examples of atomic clock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Science + Tech = MACH SpaceX launched its heftiest rocket yet with 24 research satellites, a deep space atomic clock, a solar sail and even the human ashes of a former astronaut. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Iran slams sanctions, Jussie Smollett video released & stars perform Mueller report: The Morning Rundown," 25 June 2019 An atomic clock must be hyper-precise for travel through deep space, where everything is bigger and mistakes quickly can add up. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "NASA launched a Deep Space Atomic Clock that's like a GPS for space," 28 Aug. 2019 Cesium atomic clocks are precision devices that measure time using the frequency of atomic emissions from the element cesium, according to a website maintained by the U.S. Naval Observatory. Joe Dworetzky,, "South El Monte man charged with illegally exporting cesium atomic clocks," 28 June 2019 The US Department of Commerce controls the export of atomic clocks for national security and anti-terrorism reasons, the indictment said. Allison Hagan,, "Calif. man accused of tricking Mass. firm in export scam," 27 June 2019 Currently, most terrestrial atomic clocks are the size of a refrigerator. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "How a Toaster-Sized Atomic Clock Could Pave the Way for Deep Space Exploration," 26 June 2019 This includes testing an atomic clock for deep space navigation and a new ultrasafe green satellite fuel, studying radiation and space weather, and demonstrating WiFi communication between cubesats and GPS signals for weather forecasts. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "SpaceX Is Launching a Solar Sail the Size of a Boxing Ring," 24 June 2019 Starting in December 2015, Yue, Zee, and Premium Tech Systems allegedly conspired to procure and export atomic clocks to Hong Kong by deceiving the manufacturer, according to the indictment. Allison Hagan,, "Calif. man accused of tricking Mass. firm in export scam," 27 June 2019 Scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a new type of atomic clock. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Here Is the World's Most Stable Atomic Clock," 28 Nov. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atomic clock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of atomic clock

1924, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

2 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for atomic clock

The first known use of atomic clock was in 1924

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More Definitions for atomic clock

atomic clock


English Language Learners Definition of atomic clock

: a special kind of clock that is extremely exact

More from Merriam-Webster on atomic clock

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with atomic clock Encyclopedia article about atomic clock

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