“What’s the time?” Someone asks you this, and where do you look first? You’ve got your watch, your clock, your phone (definitely!), and even advanced refrigerators display time now.
But really, how accurate are these sources? This is where an atomic clock comes in to save your life.
A sound option that is always reliable and always accurate. This is especially true if you have a lifestyle that requires you to be always punctual and dependable. Plus, in case of emergencies and all technology fails (like a blackout), your atomic clock will make a difference for you.
I don’t know about you, but our phones have become central to our everyday needs. Whether we need a calculator, a flashlight, a camera, to check the weather, and of course, to check the time. However, as I’ve said, if the power goes out for a long time and all your phones are not charged, where can you look to check the time? Or when the power is restored, how do we know what time to set?
Even though some prominent physicists will argue that time doesn’t exist, it’s still one of the widely accepted concepts amongst us, humans. And if being precise means something to you, atomic clocks are your answer. And they actually also have a lot of functions and styles. It really depends on how you want to use it.
If you are in a hurry and looking for a great value atomic clock option that will do the job and won’t break the bank, I’d suggest looking at this device by WallerGe.
Otherwise, keep reading – I’ve spent quite some time researching for the best atomic clocks that will work for various tasks, and I feel that you might find the list below useful.
Do you have a particular question about atomic clock? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
Here's what we'll cover:
- Best atomic alarm clock
- Atomic weather clock
- Atomic table clock
- Best atomic clock top choice
- Best atomic wall clock
- Shopping for Atomic Clock. FAQ Section
- What is an atomic clock?
- How do atomic clocks work?
- Difference between atomic and other types of clock?
- Pros and cons of an atomic clock
- What’s the average price of the device?
- Are atomic clocks the most accurate?
- Are atomic clocks worth it?
- What is the difference between a quartz clock and an atomic clock?
- How long does it take for an atomic clock to reset?
- Do atomic clocks work everywhere?
- Can you be tracked with an atomic watch?
Best atomic alarm clock
I am someone who sets up way too many alarm times on my phone. Is it always reliable? Definitely not. Unfortunately, I’ve relied too much on it, and I bet that you have also had problems waking up on time because that snooze button is so easy to press! Not to mention, so easy to hide your phone under your pillow to hear less of that noise.
The Marathon Atomic Clock is a self-adjusting, reliable clock that displays the day, month, date, and indoor temperature and humidity very clearly. So next time you are struggling to wake up from an unexpected deep nap, you’ll have no excuse since you really have to reach for that wall clock. Also, it’s sleek design is a stylish addition to your wall decor.
Atomic weather clock
Picture this. You’re swamped with work, this could be with your job or your studies. You reach a point where you are just about done and are ready to go outside (meet some friends, go for a drink, be outdoors).
Wouldn’t it be great to know the weather immediately? Voila! The Dream Sky Clock.
Yes, it gives you the time, the date, a clear display, and a USB charging port! But with its weather, humidity, and temperature clock, there’s no need for you to check your weather app on your phone or search online. It’s all right there in front of you. Keeps you focused on finishing your work quickly and enjoying, what hopefully is, good weather for you.
Atomic table clock
Having a clean and organized desk (along with your overall environment) is actually important if you want to be productive. I know when I set up my desk, I try to have as little clutter as possible but also include homely decorations. When you’re going to choose a table clock for your area, you might choose one that has many functions and simple design.
This atomic table clock has a large, clear display that also gives you the time and temperature. Additionally, its simple, wooden design can fit on your working desk. It can pretty much be displayed on any type of table. If you’re looking for a gift idea, I recommend this for basically anyone who has wooden furniture, especially! It’s a great addition and a reliable source for indoor and outdoor temperature. Great apartment gadget!
Best atomic clock top choice
For the best of the best fit for any environment, my top choice would be this one by WallerGe. This clock is a great design element, particularly if you choose to display it in the kitchen or hung on a wall. In general, anywhere where you would have white, or neutral tones. It has a large Ultra HD display, so you will never miss the time. Basically, easy to spot in your home; and hard to miss in a meeting room or office. It’s aesthetically pleasing. It’s precise. It’s affordable.
Best atomic wall clock
If all these other options are too modern for you, then look no further, and your choice would always be that old school wall clock – you may want to check this product. It is a classic, vintage-style wall clock that is perfect for both indoors and outdoors. Plus, it may create a more cozy feel to your home. But don’t be fooled just because it’s more traditional looking. It is just as reliable and accurate as all other atomic clocks, setting itself automatically through the signals.
Shopping for Atomic Clock. FAQ Section
What is an atomic clock?
An Atomic Clock is a clock that uses specific frequencies of atoms to give extremely accurate time. They are the most precise time standards used for international time distribution.
How do atomic clocks work?
Clocks need an oscillator, a movement between two entities, that keeps track of time. An atomic clock’s oscillator is between the nucleus of an atom and the electrons around it. Hence, atomic oscillations have a higher frequency and are more stable. The process of this is very extensive.
Difference between atomic and other types of clock?
All clocks have some type of “ticker,” an oscillator, a periodic movement/variation between two entities, created by a change in energy. For example, in a grandfather clock, there is a pendulum that sways back and forth. Time is kept due to the swing of the pendulum. But this is not always accurate due to many variables.
The ticker, or oscillations, are from the power line or a quartz crystal in a digital clock. On the other hand, the atomic clock uses the atoms as its oscillator and will vibrate at that frequency. The ticker there is a microwave signal synchronized to atoms’ resonance (more specifically, the resonance of cesium 133 atoms).
Pros and cons of an atomic clock
- A remarkably consistent way of telling time
- Can be used even when the power/technology does not work
- It can display day, date, weather, temperature, humidity
- Clear display and comes in various designs
- Not all regions in the world have “time signal stations,” and consumer products won’t work as good in these regions
- The time it takes for a signal to reach the clock may vary
- Some consumer atomic clocks have a quartz crystal as an oscillator (used in between the time it synchronizes with a time signal station), and this may not be completely accurate
What’s the average price of the device?
The price of the smallest, most accurate atomic clock that is developed by researchers is $1,500. However, the appliances you see online are far more affordable! The average price from the sources mentioned above is $35.
Are atomic clocks the most accurate?
Atomic clocks are incredibly accurate. They are so precise that they will only lose one second every 100 million years; for comparison, the standard quartz clock will lose one second every couple of years. However, optical clocks may be less accurate than atomic clocks.
The 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics has been awarded to the world’s most accurate clock. Jun Yep invented them, and they only lose one second every 15 billion years, making them the world’s most precise clock.
Are atomic clocks worth it?
Atomic clocks keep better time than any other type of clock. They even keep time better than the Earth’s rotation and the movement of the stars. And they are usually inexpensive. So if you value precision, atomic clocks are an excellent investment.
What is the difference between a quartz clock and an atomic clock?
Even atomic clocks are quartz clocks, which may surprise you. The sole distinction is one of control.
The quartz crystal in a standard quartz clock operates independently of any external control. That is, its vibrations are directly used to display the time.
Atomic clocks are unique. They generate the base frequency using a quartz crystal. However, this frequency is then compared to the oscillation frequency of specific states of atomic particles, most often Cesium, Rubidium, or Hydrogen. The signal obtained by this comparison is then utilized to adjust the frequency generated by the quartz crystal (to tune it to the correct frequency).
How long does it take for an atomic clock to reset?
When you turn on a radio-controlled clock, it will most likely miss the first-time code. Therefore it usually takes more than one minute (often 5 minutes or longer) to set itself, depending on the signal quality and receiver design.
If the signal is strong in your location, the clock will set itself within 3 seconds. NOTE: A radio-controlled clock signal is weaker throughout the day due to solar radiation in the atmosphere. Most atomic signal synchronization occurs at night when there is less interference.
Do atomic clocks work everywhere?
Watches that can receive a radio time synchronization signal from a transmitter to put the proper time into the watch regularly are referred to as “atomic” or “Radio Controlled Watches” (e.g., nightly or manually triggered). These watches are typically of two types:
The one that receives UTC from terrestrial radio transmitters whose time source is an atomic clock maintained by national time standards institutes. The list includes WWVB maintained by the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA) (NIST), MSF in the United Kingdom, DCF77 in Germany, JJY in Japan, and BPC in China.
Those signals might not be available everywhere on the Earth.
There is, however, another type of atomic watches.
They receive UTC (time) from Global Positioning System (GPS), Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites, or the Russian GLONASS system.
The satellite signals can be received just about anywhere on Earth (planet) by the very design of the satellite system constellation. Still, the radio frequency range that GPS uses does not penetrate various building materials well – such watches are best synchronized near a window or outside with an unobstructed view of the sky.
Can you be tracked with an atomic watch?
Atomic clocks are accurate to one billionth of a second. Most tracking systems employ quartz clocks, which are precise to one-millionth of a second. So, according to the founders of the tracking business LocatorX, using an atomic clock from Earth orbit, it is possible to detect an object’s location within 1 foot of accuracy. In addition, it allows accurately determining an object’s time and distance traveled. So, everywhere on the planet where a cell phone tower is within range, it is possible to calculate the exact longitude and latitude of where something is and how far it has traveled. Likewise, when an atomic clock calculates and triangulates a signal from a GPS satellite, it delivers highly exact data on an object’s pinpoint location, elevation, direction, time, and distance traveled since the last signal. However, according to my understanding, this is only conceivable if the person or company watching you knows that you own a precise atomic clock. However, contemplating the possible evolution of this technology is somewhat frightening.
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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