Atomic oscillator?

Thread Starter


Joined Mar 3, 2011
So since they have atomic clocks, does that mean they have atomic oscillators for making clocks and other frequency based projects? A quick google didn't turn up anything so I assume it's not as simple as picking up a crystal oscillator. But are there atomic options for us hobbyists? I'm not working on anything particularly related, a crystal is fine for what I do, but I'm just curious.


Joined Jul 7, 2009
Virtually anything's available if you want to spend enough money... :p HP used to sell small sealed oscillators based on quartz crystals and a rubidium oscillator, but IIRC the rubidium oscillators were on the order of $5k-$10k apiece and that was 20+ years ago. Also check here.


Joined Mar 24, 2008
Actually it is a relatively new breed of clock that uses WWV radio signals. While not having any atomic oscillators on board they reference to the broadcast signals that are referenced to atomic clocks, thus making them very accurate.