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Rocky Mountain Eagle Award Winners 

Rocky Mountain Eagle Winners

L-R: Tom O’Brian, chief of NIST’s Time & Frequency Division and Quantum Physics Division, with award winners Chris Oates, Jun Ye, and Andrew Ludlow. Photo: Ryan Masterson.

On May Three physicists – Chris Oates, Jun Ye, and Andrew Ludlow of PML’s optical atomic clock team – received the Rocky Mountain Eagle Award for Scientific Project or Achievement. The annual awards, given by the Colorado Federal Executive Board, are one of the most important forms of non-monetary recognition available to federal government employees within the State of Colorado. They are intended to provide the opportunity to communicate to the public the outstanding achievements of federal employees who have dedicated their careers to public service.NIST research groups at JILA and NIST-Boulder have been pursuing next generation optical atomic clocks based upon lasers whose frequencies are locked to ultra-narrow transitions in large samples of neutral atoms held in laser traps, termed “optical lattices”. The group at JILA, led by Ye, has demonstrated unprecedented clock performance with strontium atoms; the team at NIST-Boulder, led by Ludlow and Oates, has reached new levels of atomic clock precision using ytterbium atoms. Recent results by these groups have considerably advanced atomic clock performance and could one day lead to a new definition of the second. The award winners share “family” roots: They all performed their Ph. D. thesis experiments in the same room at the University of Colorado (Ye and Oates under the guidance of NIST Nobel Laureate John Hall; and Ludlow, some years later, under the guidance of Ye).





Hendricks with VSTD members

Jay Hendricks (center, with jacket and red tie) and other VSTD members in Trento, Italy.

Hendricks Chairs Vacuum Division

Jay Hendricks of the Sensor Science Division’s Thermodynamic Metrology Group has been elected chair of the Vacuum Science and Technology Division (VSTD) within the International Union for Vacuum Science, Technique and Applications (IUVSTA). IUVSTA is an international federation of national vacuum organizations and represents nearly 15,000 physicists, chemists, materials scientists, engineers, and technologists who are active in basic and applied research, development, manufacturing, and education. As chair, Hendricks represents the vacuum technology divisions of 28 nations.



Wineland Honored by ARCS

Dave Wineland with Ann Brown, ARCS Colorado Chapter President. Photo courtesy of Ann Brown, ARCS.
Nobelist Dave Wineland was the 2014 honoree at a gala held by the ARCS Foundation’s Colorado Chapter. (ARCS stands for Achievement Rewards for College Scientists.) The event, which included a lecture by Wineland, was held at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on May 2, 2014.




OWM Al Sur

Carol Medellin
OWM head Carol Hockert addresses the audience.

Carol Hockert and Georgia Harris of the Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) presented a two-day training workshop on “Fundamentals of Metrology and Testing” in Medellin, Colombia on May 6 - 7. The workshop was originally planned for 20 participants. A month prior to the session, Hockert and Harris were asked if they could provide the course to 30, with a waiting list of 20. On arrival, they found that there would be 80 participants in the course, which included simultaneous translations. Course content was extracted from OWM’s “Fundamentals of Metrology” course and several of the OWM webinars, and instruction focused on ensuring and assessing metrological traceability in measurement results. Participants brought their own calibration certificates and found numerous problems. 

After the workshop, Hockert and Harris presented at the “First International Congress for Legal, Biomedical, and Industrial Metrology” on May 8 - 9 for about 350 people on the following five topics: The U.S. Approach to Legal Metrology, Quality Tools for Metrology, Mass and Balances for Legal Metrology, Volume Calibrations for Legal Metrology, and Assessments of Traceability and Proficiency.

Training and presentations were all provided by request and subsidized by the Metrology Congress.


Chalres Tilford
Tilford Heads to Portrait Gallery

Veteran PML researcher Charles Tilford has been selected for inclusion in the NIST Portrait Gallery. Tilford, who worked at NBS/NIST from 1970 to 1997, is honored for “outstanding technical contributions and leadership as a pre-eminent research scientist and leader for NBS/NIST for best in the world pressure and vacuum standards. His research led to the development of the NIST ultrasonic interferometer manometers (UIMs) and established NIST as a world leader in low pressure and vacuum standards.”

Tilford was recommended by the Standards Alumni Association (SAA) Portrait Jury, and approved by the NIST Director. His portrait will be added on October 10, 2014, at a reception and ceremony for the honorees.

Phillips at RIT

PML roving ambassador Bill Phillips of the Quantum Measurement Division’s Laser Cooling and Trapping Group delivered the commencement address at the Rochester Institute of Technology on May 23, 2014.

Child and mother in thermometry lab

Daughters and Sons

Staff from all PML divisions participated actively in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 24, 2014. Shown here is Mackenzie Lellock, accompanied by mother Karen (at right) in the Thermometry Lab receiving a tutorial about digital data collection and measuring ice points.





fox kits
Foxes on NIST Gaithersburg campus.
Report from the Foxhole

The NIST Gaithersburg, MD campus is home to a wide range of wildlife, and sightings vary by season. This spring, mechanical engineer Jodie Pope of the Sensor Science Division’s Fluid Metrology Group began observing and documenting the arrival of a mother fox and her numerous pups, who took over a hole said to be formerly occupied by a groundhog. The photo at right (or left, or whatever) is but one of many taken by Pope.

In addition, she has produced a short video of the pups playing. It can be seen on  YouTube.