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Proceedings Paper

Freedom of choice in tracking an atomic resonance
Author(s): John M. Myers; F. Hadi Madjid
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Paper Abstract

The International Second (SI) is defined in terms of a resonant frequency of cesium imagined at 0 K, differing from any measurable resonant frequency by an offset calculated from a chosen wave function. As proved in prior work, the choice of wave function cannot be determined by measured data but requires a reach beyond anything measurable or calculable, thereby bringing incalculablility, along with an element of free choice, into the definition and the realization of the second. A clock that realizes the second contains a variable-frequency oscillator controlled by a measurement model running in a computational process, and the chosen wave function is embodied in the measurement model. Embedded in a computational process, the measurement model, with its dependence on the chosen wave function, acts as an active agent, responding to incalculable detections by calculating numbers that adjust the oscillator. Because the choice of realization of a proper clock influences the measured numbers that give evidence of spacetime curvature, the chosen wave function for cesium clocks affects spacetime curvature, inviting exploration of offsets of imagined proper clocks from measurable frequencies in interesting situations, such as stellar interiors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2012
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8400, Quantum Information and Computation X, 84000P (8 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918868
Show Author Affiliations
John M. Myers, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)
F. Hadi Madjid, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8400:
Quantum Information and Computation X
Eric Donkor; Andrew R. Pirich; Howard E. Brandt, Editor(s)

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