[time-nuts] WTS: Efratom PTB-100 Precision Timebase

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sun Jul 8 16:00:20 EDT 2018

On 7/8/18 12:09 PM, djl wrote:
> Greg et.al. IEEE stuff is just too expensive for single purchase. I have 
> found, to my sorrow over 40 odd years, that they also do not contain 
> <real> information, that is, info of actual use, because some other 
> company or person might actually benefit. In other words, the papers are 
> markers in the sand.

Depends a lot on what you're looking at.  I make pretty heavy use of 
such papers on a day to day basis.

It is true that of late, there's an awful lot of "we built this 
specialized circuit as part of a multiproject wafer using tool sets that 
you can only afford if you're a billionaire or get them as part of a 
university" stuff out there, which makes it probably non-duplicateable, 
but there's also a lot of useful things.

But the older papers I use a lot (like the one on making coupled line 
filters) were probably viewed as just as exotic back in the late 50s 
when making accurate microwave measurements was quite timeconsuming and 

> Now, this is my own opinion, a bit harsh, admittedly. Of course the 
> citations do need to be mentioned.
> BTW, any published material generated with government funds that is not 
> classified belongs to the people, and is not copyrighted. I wonder if 
> that includes IEEE papers? that is, if anyone buys one, it can be copied 
> or distributed without restriction?

Not precisely - But in general, much government sponsored research has 
no copyright, and the notice will say as much in the journal.

That said, there's no obligation for IEEE to make it available for free.
And IEEE has no problem with authors providing a "pre-print" edition of 
their current papers online on their own server.

It is easy to find the whole proceedings for that conference at a 
government site:

Another way to get a free copy (but tedious) is to file a Freedom of 
Information Act request - JPL gets lots of these every year asking for 
"Document JPL D-12345" or similar.. and someone prints it out and sends 
it (or, these days, they may even just send you a .pdf, if that meets 
the requirements of the FOIA).

I would say that for "recent" (last 20 years) papers, most government 
places have some sort of online repository (yes, it comes and goes, 
NASA's repo disappeared for a while then came back).

It's the older material that's harder to come by (70s and 80s), mostly 
because the keeper of the docs hasn't got back that far when scanning. 
You can find "popular" docs that are requested a lot(e.g. the "Los 
Alamos Primer"), but more obscure ones take a while.

The indexing is also sometimes a bit wonky - I find I need to try 
different searches using parts of the title, or sometimes the report 
number, or the author's name.  But this particular one was easy - it was 
in the first page of hits from Google.

Also, not all government funded research is "public". IN particular, 
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants give the grantee 
exclusive rights for a significant period (5 years??), and the reports 
can contain proprietary information, and so are not subject to unlimited 

Similarly, University research that is funded by the government is 
subject to the Bayh-Dole Act - the university retains title and rights 
to the research.  It depends on the specific grant/contract whether 
reports of that research are subject to copyright or not.

Philosophically, the government does this to get something of value 
without having to spend as much money on it, since the producer can then 
sell it to others as well.  More research done, less taxpayer dollars, etc.

Another reason taxpayer funded research might not be published is that 
it uses a third party's proprietary information.   If I do a bunch of 
rocket engine tests (I wish!) on Acme Corp's special proprietary rocket 
fuel mixture, I might be able to publish the test results, but not be 
able to publish the analysis that provided the expected values, based on 
the rocket fuel formulation.

> Not being in the lawyer class, I can't say for sure...
> Thanks
> Don
> On 2018-07-08 10:39, Gregory Beat via time-nuts wrote:
>> Magnus -
>> When I scan/read the 1984 IEEE document, “Lifetime and Reliability of
>> Rubidium Discharge Lamps for Use in Atomic Frequency Standards”
>> by Aerospace Corp., Efraton-Ball, and EG&G.
>> https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/1537723/
>> The failure of the rubidium lamps used on early NAVSTAR satellites,
>> was the reason for in-depth studies of the Rb lamp, its lifetime and
>> failure mechanism.

>> greg
>>> Hi -
>>> I later tried that method on my R&S XSRM rubidium, with good progress. I
>>> have reported on that on the list way back. It took two attempts, one
>>> just to realize that I needed to keep the pinch at the top, because that
>>> is where the hot atoms go.
>>> Essentially, the thin film of rubidium will consume too much of the
>>> radiation to emit any useful amount of pumping light. Heating it has the
>>> rubidium go into gas and then collect somewhere cold, so it's just about
>>> making sure that somewhere cold isn't the glass where it is to emit 
>>> light.
>>> My XSRM have however other issues that I need to attend to.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Magnus
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