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Old 06-14-2018, 06:48 PM
Iamnuts Iamnuts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 302

The basic principle that allows the device to operate is the fact that a caesium atom can exist in any of nine energy levels, which can be informally thought of as the placement of electron atomic orbitals around the atomic nucleus. When a caesium atom within the chamber encounters a photon from the lamp, it is excited to a higher energy state, emits a photon and falls to an indeterminate lower energy state. The caesium atom is "sensitive" to the photons from the lamp in three of its nine energy states, and therefore, assuming a closed system, all the atoms eventually fall into a state in which all the photons from the lamp pass through unhindered and are measured by the photon detector. At this point, the sample (or population) is said to be polarized and ready for measurement to take place. This process is done continuously during operation. This theoretically perfect magnetometer is now functional and so can begin to make measurements.
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