NIST logo

Three at NIST Win Flemming Award

From NIST Tech Beat: May 24, 2011

*
Bookmark and Share

Contact: Michael Baum
(301) 975-2763

Three scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have been chosen to receive the Arthur S. Flemming award, recognizing distinguished service in the federal government.

Scott Diddams, a physicist in the Physical Measurement Laboratory, Time and Frequency Division, is recognized for his path-breaking work on precision measurement using laser frequency combs. Diddams and his team have, among other accomplishments, made frequency measurements that rank as the most precise absolute measurements of any kind ever made, and developed some of the world's most precise optical frequency atomic clocks. They also have developed massively parallel, ultrafast spectroscopy for fingerprinting and measurement of chemicals millions of times faster than previously possible, and made "designer lightwaves" by synthesizing light with complete control over color, timing, intensity and other parameters, for applications from improved remote sensing to better telecommunications.

Christopher Soles, a materials scientist in the Material Measurement Laboratory, Polymers Division, is recognized for a broad range of research measuring the behavior of polymers at the nanoscale; for example, characterizing physical limits on the use of nanoimprint lithography. His work has significant implications for the semiconductor and nanomanufacturing industries. The Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission also noted Soles' work in raising up the next generation of researchers—he has mentored two dozen postdoctoral associates, graduate students, undergraduate interns and a high school student.

Ian Spielman, a physicist in the Physical Measurement Laboratory, Atomic Physics Division, is recognized for pioneering research in quantum physics, particularly the novel use of controlled quantum systems, specifically ultracold atomic gases, to model quantum phenomena that are difficult to observe in other settings. "His successes have gained worldwide attention and represent only the beginning of a program for creating a better understanding of the natural world, which may lead to new technologies for this century analogous to those that defined the last," the commission observed. Spielman is a member of the Joint Quantum Institute, a collaboration including NIST and the University of Maryland.

The Arthur S. Flemming Awards were established in 1984 to recognize outstanding men and women in the federal government. The program is managed by The George Washington University and the Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission, and presents a total of 12 awards annually in three categories: Applied Science, Engineering and Mathematics; Research; and Managerial or Legal Achievement. More information is available at http://flemming.gwu.edu/.