Take a sneak peek at the new NIST.gov and let us know what you think!
(Please note: some content may not be complete on the beta site.).

View the beta site
NIST logo

General Interest


A Walk Through Time

A descriptive look at the history of timekeeping from ancient to modern methods, with a brief introduction to NIST Time and Frequency Services.

From Sundials to Atomic Clocks: Understanding Time and Frequency (25.7 MB PDF)

Originally published in 1977, this full-length book provides a comprehensive, easy-to-understand introduction to the field of time and frequency. Readers of nearly all ages and educational backgrounds should find it enjoyable. 306 pages.

NIST Web Clock

Compare your computer's clock with NIST's atomic clock set to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

FAQ (frequently asked questions) and Glossary of Frequency and Timing.

General Interest Time and Frequency Publications

Exhibits from the Physical Measurement Laboratory

in the NIST Virtual Museum

Marie Curie and the NBS Radium Standards

A history of the NBS radium standards and Marie Curie's involvement.

The Fall of Parity

Experiments in late 1956 demonstrating that our world is distinguishable from its mirror image.

The Scanning Tunneling Microscope

Invention of a precursor instrument, the topografiner, between 1965 and 1971.

Length—Evolution from Measurement Standard to a Fundamental Constant

The modern length standard has evolved over a period of 200 years which has brought it to a point where it can be continually improved without the necessity of changing its definition.

Time Line for the Definition of the Meter

Meter definition timeline, from 1791 to 1983.

Online Museum of Quantum Voltage Standards

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Superconductivity

History Photo Gallery

Nobel Prizes*

NIST's David Wineland shared the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics.
NIST/JILA Fellow Jan Hall shared 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics.
NIST's Dr. Eric Cornell shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics with two other researchers.
NIST's Dr. William D. Phillips shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with two other researchers.
* Links include numerous articles, official statements, congratulations, and photographs.
Bookmark and Share

PML   Physical



General Information:
301-975-4200 Telephone
301-975-3038 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8400
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8400