[time-nuts] Lifetime of Cesium tube

Chuck Harris cfharris at erols.com
Thu May 12 22:26:22 EDT 2005

Hi Poul-Hemming,

One neutral Cesium atom is a molecule by definition because it
is the smallest possible unit that contains all of the properties
of Cesium metal in bulk.

That is the definition we worked with in the Chemistry I took in
college.  I have never heard a different definition.

Since a single neutral atom of Cesium is a molecule, I don't understand
your reference about the outer electron, unless you are imagining a
molecule of Cesium and some other element (eg, Cesium oxide).

As to the C-beam not working with a neutral Cesium atom, I have already
been hammered by Rick Karlquest for saying that the C-Beam uses Cesium
ions.  He apparently knows otherwise.  Prior to his letter, I thought
as you state.  Now I am just confused.


Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:
> It's really very easy:  If it were a molecule, the Cesium clock
> would not work because the outher electron would could not be
> interogated relative to the kernel.
> It would not work with a neutral atom however, because the
> the state selector magnet needs the charge to work against.
> At least that's how I remember it.

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