[time-nuts] Atomic clocks - Why alkali metals?

Attila Kinali attila at kinali.ch
Sat Oct 29 15:32:38 EDT 2011


On Sat, 29 Oct 2011 19:12:39 +0000
"Poul-Henning Kamp" <phk at phk.freebsd.dk> wrote:

> In message <20111029201927.b7a1130c.attila at kinali.ch>, Attila Kinali writes:
> >Is it because they can be aproximated as single electron
> >systems due to the one electron in the valence orbit?
> Yes.  Basically that electron is in a "figure of eight" orbital
> which means that it passes straight through, or possibly just
> very close by, the proton, allowing their spin moments to interact.

I guess you mean here the exited state, when the electron is in
a p-orbital? For the ground state s-orbital (ball shaped),
the electron's density function should have a zero at the nucleus
for all but the 1s orbital, if i'm not mistaken.

And wouldn't that be the case with non-alkali metals too?
If it's about the shape of the orbital, then Bor should work as fine,
if not better, as the ground state of the "top most" electron is
a p-orbital, which means it would have longer time to interact with
the nucleus.

> I belive K has been tried.

I've not seen it mentioned anywhere and a google search didn't
provide anything.
> I belive the preference for H, Rb & Cs is that getting them as
> single atoms doesn't require high temperatures.

That might explain it.

			Attila Kinali

Why does it take years to find the answers to
the questions one should have asked long ago?

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