Atomic Time

Earlier today, I took a morning-long tour of the facility that broadcasts the atomic time to clocks across America. The time is accurate to one oscillation of a cesium atom — something like 9 trillion oscillations equals one second.

It’s on a 360-acre site northeast of Fort Collins. The the huge towers that hoist the cabled antenna arrays are hard to miss from Interstate 25.

When you buy an atomic clock — actually, it’s a radio-controlled clock that calibrates to the atomic time standard — you should turn it in the direction of Fort Collins to get the best signal. Who knew?

Just one of many many unique contributions to the world of science here in the Choice City.

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