The Measurement of Time

The Measurement of Time : Time, Frequency and the Atomic Clock

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This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the physics of time and time measurement, from an historical perspective to the modern day. It discusses the stability and accuracy of atomic frequency standards, including different types of oscillators and atomic clocks, covering recent developments and uses of these devices. The precision of atomic clocks and the atomic time scale are considered in the context of fundamental physical research, with relation to general relativity and applications such as the Global Positioning System. The authors also discuss International Atomic Time and its relationship to Coordinated Universal Time and the time scales used in astronomy. The book will be an ideal introduction for graduate students or researchers entering the fields of time and frequency metrology and precise astronomical observation. It will also be useful as a reference for scientists working in these and related areas, such as geophysics, atomic physics, astronomy and telecommunications.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 348 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 19mm | 596g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 Tables, unspecified; 9 Halftones, unspecified; 61 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521003970
  • 9780521003971
  • 1,504,328

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction to the book; 2. The principles of time measurement; 3. Time measurement and theoretical models; 4. The evolution of time measurement; 5. Clock time; 6. Atomic frequency standards; 7. Atomic time measurement; 8. Astronomical times; 9. Ultraprecise time and frequency applications; Appendices; References; Index.
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Review quote

'The Measurement of Time gives an excellent, detailed introduction to all aspects of time and frequency. Topics covered include principles, measurements, models, the evolution of time definitions, clock time, atomic standards, atomic time, astronomical time, ultra-precise time and frequency standards, as well as definitions and advanced time applications. All of these topics are well referenced, making this an excellent source for scientists and students in the field of time measurement as well as for historians of physics and astronomy. Most of the book should also be accessible to a more general audience. Although there are many other books on this subject for the general public, this is perhaps the most authoritative, as it provides the precise definitions used in this field.' Ken Johnston, Nature 'There are no people more fitting to summarize the timekeeping field than the book's authors Drs Audoin and Guinot, who helped shape many of the developments covered in the book ... The book's strongest point is that it provides excellent coverage of the fundamental physics behind the most precise clocks of modern times, including atomic beams, atomic fountains, masers, and trapped ions ... excellent ...'. Demetrios Matsakis, Journal of Geodesy '... describes current atomic timekeeping metrology in a pleasing and technically correct manner ... an ideal introductory book for graduate students and researchers interested in time and frequency, and would be very useful for people specializing in any related field.' Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Journal of Geodesy 'A book about time measurement is a challenge, and because of their experience, the authors meet this challenge exceptionally well. ... extremely useful to readers who know some basic physics but are otherwise unfamiliar with the accurate measurement of time. ... a good reference to have on one's personal bookshelf.' Physics Today 'This book ... is an eclectic mix of history, natural philosophy, classical astronomy with a little geodesy, applied General Relativity, quantum physics, and technology ... I know of no comparable book in this important field.' John Pilkington, The Observatory '... this book represents a valuable introduction into the many aspects of the topic and should be used by everybody who wants to enter into this subject.' General Relativity and Gravitation "Pleasant to read...a good reference..." Physics Today "The authors explain atomic and astronomical time in enough detail and interlace enough basic physics to make the information extremely useful to readers who know some basic physics but are otherwise unfamiliar with the accurate measurement of time...The Measurement of Time is pleasant to read, and provides the basic information required for understanding the concepts of time measurement. It should guide the engineer involved in system design in which timing is critical, and should help the graduate student gain insight into the whole field. Finally, the text should be useful to anyone who wants to quickly obtain a general idea of time measurement. It is a good reference to have on one's personal bookshelf." Physics Today Jan 2003
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About Claude Audoin

Claude Audoin received his doctorate in physics from the Universite Paris Sud in 1967. He was Director of the Laboratoire de l'Horloge Atomique, Orsay, from 1972 to 1985 and managed research programmes related to hydrogen masers, optically pumped cesium beams, trapped ions, frequency stabilised lasers and frequency metrology. He has published numerous papers on the subject of atomic frequency standards and their metrological properties, and is co-author of a previous book covering the quantum physics of atomic frequency standards. Dr Audoin is also on the editorial board of Metrologia and is a member of the Bureau des Longitudes. Bernard Guinot was an officer in the merchant navy before receiving his masters degree in mathematics in 1952. He then joined the Paris Observatory and in 1958 received the Doctorat d'Etat. His research was devoted to fundamental astronomy, space geodesy and the measurement of time, and he is the author of numerous papers on these subjects. From 1964 to 1988, Dr Guinot was Director of the Bureau International de l'Heure, where he was involved in the transition to modern techniques for measuring the rotation of the Earth and the development of International Atomic Time, which is now under the responsibility of the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures. He is a member of the Bureau des Longitudes and the Academia Europaea.
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