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Colorado Governor Ritter Honors NIST Internet Time Service

For Immediate Release: February 24, 2009

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Contact: Michael Baum
301-975-2763

On Feb. 17, Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado presented the 2009 CO-LABS Governor’s Awards for Research Impact to scientists from five federal research laboratories, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In a ceremony at the governor’s mansion in Denver, the award in information technology was presented to physicist Judah Levine for his development of the NIST Internet Time Service, which allows users to synchronize computer clocks via the Internet.

Levine is a Fellow of NIST and a Fellow of JILA, a joint institute of NIST and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since he spearheaded the development of the first automated computer time service in 1988, Levine has participated in the transformation of global timekeeping. Working with other scientists at NIST, he invented services that offer the precision of atomic-clock-based time to the public and to such high-tech systems as the nation’s electric power grid and telecommunications networks. NIST Internet Time Service now provides the exact time in response to more than 3 billion inquiries each day from clients such as the stock market and other financial institutions that rely on electronic transactions.* Time stamping of financial transactions is particularly important because some stock markets now require that time stamps be traceable to NIST. In addition, millions of people use NIST radio broadcasts to synchronize wall clocks, clock radios and wristwatches with atomic time.

Levine has worked at NIST since 1969 and previously has received several awards from NIST and the Department of Commerce.

CO-LABS is a nonprofit organization that educates about and advocates for Colorado’s 24 federal research labs. For more on the awards, see the governor’s office news release “Gov. Ritter Honors Colorado’s Federal Research Labs.”