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The first atomic clock, invented in 1948, utilized the vibrations of ammonia molecules. Today’s atomic clocks are based upon the oscillations of the cesium 133 atom. A second is the duration of 9,192, 631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium 133 atom. The duration of each oscillation/transition is hence 108.8 picoseconds or has an oscillation rate of over 9 gigahertz (GH). The U.S. standard is the NIST-F1, which went into service in 1999 and should neither gain nor lose a second in 20 million years. Interesting topic.