Hewlett-Packard’s 5060A atomic clock was a groundbreaking means of synchronizing communications equipment across the globe. Previous atomic clocks had relied on cumbersome and unreliable components like vacuum tubes, which made them comparatively large and fragile. The 5060A was the first cesium-beam clock to use only solid-state components, thus making it reliable and transportable, crucial features for synchronization and standardization throughout the world, and even beyond it. Hewlett-Packard’s cesium-beam technology would be used to sync communications devices for the Apollo 11 mission, and as of 2007, 80 percent of the world’s standardized timekeeping was done by conceptual descendants of the 5060A.
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