[ntp:questions] Use of "Atomic Clock" Nomenclature

Max Power mikehack at u.washington.edu
Wed Jan 18 23:56:04 UTC 2006

Use of "Atomic Clock" Nomenclature

Many WWVB RCC products are labelled (on the product itself or in the 
documentation) as "atomic clocks." This is probably seen by manufacturers as 
a useful marketing tool intended to capture the imagination of potential 
customers, and some might argue that it is appropriate since atomic clocks 
are located at the  WWVB radio transmitter site.

However, we contend that use of the term "atomic clock" is technically 
incorrect and misleading to consumers, and its usage should be avoided. 
Unless there is actually an atomic oscillator inside the RCC (such as a 
cesium or rubidium oscillator), we recommend that the term "radio controlled 
clock" be used to correctly describe the product.

Labelling products or documentation with the term "atomic timekeeping" is 
also considered acceptable. 

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