• 104

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    The first thing that helps you forget your odder-than-an-octophone predicament is the brochure rack. Sticking out from behind Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours is a visitor’s brochure for NIST-F1, America’s Very Own Atomic Clock!. On the inside are graphs about frequency uncertainties and diagrams of intersecting lasers.

    “As of the summer of 2005”, the brochure reads, “the uncertainty of NIST-F1 has been reduced to about 5 x 10-16, which means it will neither gain nor lose a second in more than 60 million years!!”

    Something like a series of super-cooled lasers in a vacuum chamber goes off in your telencephalon and you verbalize the thought,

    “That’s where I’m supposed to go!” – and in one 30 billionth of a second you’re there: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE BOULDER LABORATORIES…

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    If you walk in through the front entrance with your chin up and ask to visit NIST Laboratories, go to page 73.

    If you take some precautions before rushing in by scouting around the premises first, go to page 168.

    Although you are struggling not to be entranced by that nickel on the ground…go to page 82 if you can’t help yourself.

     

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