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PML at Work

Highlights of Science and Services

 

 

QuICSUMD and NIST Announce the Creation of the Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science (QuICS)

Scientists at the new center will conduct basic research to understand how quantum systems can be effectively used to store, transport, and process information.

 

 

 


body armorBetter Body Armor Standards for US Army

PML scientists are improving the standardization of the bullet-stopping chest and back plates worn by US soldiers in battle.


 

 

 


Pressure sensorWorld’s First Photonic Pressure Sensor Outshines Traditional Mercury Standard

Within weeks of seeing “first light,” a novel pressure-sensing device has surpassed the performance of the best mercury-based techniques in resolution, speed, and range at a fraction of the size. The new instrument, called a fixed-length optical cavity (FLOC), works by detecting subtle changes in the wavelength of light passing through a cavity filled with nitrogen gas.

 

 


CombsNIST 'Combs' the Atmosphere to Measure Greenhouse Gases

In a recent demonstration, a pair of laser frequency combs was used to measure the simultaneous signatures of several greenhouse gases along a 2-kilometer path.

 

 

 


Laser calibration serviceNIST Launches New Calibration Service for High-Power Lasers

The new service is offered for power levels up to 10 kilowatts(kW). These high-power lasers are used by manufacturers for applications such as cutting and welding metals, as well as by the military for more specialized applications like defusing unexploded land mines.

 

 


Big GTrouble with a Capital 'G'

NIST has taken part in a new push to address a persistent and growing problem in physics: the value of G, the Newtonian constant of gravitation. The more experiments researchers conduct to pin G down, the more their results diverge.

 

 

 


close-up of transition edge sensorImproving on X-ray Vision

Advanced spectrometers pioneered at NIST may speed the arrival of long-awaited materials and devices including advanced high-temperature superconductors and high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.

 

 

 


design for diffusion phantomNew Phantoms for Better Brain Imaging

Image-calibration technology designed and developed by NIST scientists has been adopted for use in multi-site clinical trials in the United States and Europe to study the effects of traumatic brain injury.

 

 

 


Olthoff

 

James Olthoff Named Director of NIST’s Physical Measurement Laboratory

James Olthoff, a 27-year veteran of NIST, has been named director of PML.

 

 


 


 

LadarNIST Laser Comb System Maps 3D Surfaces Remotely for Manufacturing, Forensics

Researchers at NIST have demonstrated a laser-based imaging system that creates high-definition 3D maps of surfaces from as far away as 10.5 meters. The method may be useful in diverse fields, including precision machining and assembly, as well as in forensics.

 

 


Metric superherosIntroducing the League of SI Superheroes: The New Champions of Metric 

To celebrate Metric Week (Oct. 5-11), NIST would like to introduce you to the League of SI Superheroes. The League of SI Superheroes use their incredible powers of measurement to perform amazing feats of science and engineering.  

 

 

 


rings from spontaneous parametric down-conversionGenerating Photons by the Numbers

A new system based on photon pair creation is designed to produce specific numbers of photons on demand, with potentially significant benefits for research, environmental monitoring, astronomy, and other applications.

 

 

 


Ron ToshCalibrating Cancer Radiotherapy Beams Using Light and Sound

More and more therapy clinics are using radiation beams with non-standard, complex dose profiles, making it tricky to use traditional calibration tactics. PML scientists demonstrate two potentially better methods that measure subtle changes in temperature using ultrasound or optical light.  

 

 


Entangled Photon TripletsThree's a Charm: NIST Detectors Reveal Entangled Photon Triplets

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have directly entangled three photons in the most technologically useful state for the first time, thanks in part to superfast, super-efficient single-photon detectors developed by NIST. 

 

 

 


New standard for microsensor technologyNIST Helps Develop New Standard for Microsensor Technology

NIST has contributed to the development of a new standard for defining the performance of micromechanical sensors—a field that is expected to expand rapidly in coming decades as these versatile sensors increasingly become part of electronic networks. 

 

 

 


PoloniumPolonium's Most Stable Isotope Gets Revised Half-Life Measurement

Scientists at NIST have determined that polonium-209, the longest-lived isotope of this radioactive heavy element, has a half-life about 25 percent longer than the previously determined value, which had been in use for decades.

 

 

 


Sample under testScientists Shed Light on Organic Photovoltaic Characteristics

SDMD scientists have developed a method that allows the prediction of the current density-voltage curve of a photovoltaic device.

 

 

 


Ravi AttotaOptical Microscope Technique Confirmed as Valid Nano-Measurement Tool

Recent experiments have confirmed that a technique developed several years ago at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can enable optical microscopes to measure the three-dimensional (3-D) shape of objects at nanometer-scale resolution—far below the normal resolution limit for optical microscopy.

 

 

 


Illustration of symmetry in the magnetic properties of strontium atomsJILA Team Finds First Direct Evidence of 'Spin Symmetry' in Atoms

The discovery, described in Science Express, was made possible by the ultra-stable laser used to measure properties of the world's most precise and stable atomic clock.

 

 

 


the sun at 304 angstromsSeeing the Sun's EUV Output in a Whole New Light

Precision calibrations in the extreme ultraviolet range may hasten the advent of a new generation of degradation-free spectrometers for use on satellites that monitor solar radiation.

 

 

 


Smokestack simulatorA Case of the Flue: Major Construction Complete for PML's Scale-Model Smokestack

The newly built research facility, which houses a 50-meter-long horizontal smokestack, will let researchers study the flow characteristics of flue gases and improve the accuracy with which greenhouse gas emissions are monitored.

 

 

 


 Hydrogen bathNIST Therapy for Ultraviolet Laser Beams: Hydrogen-treated Fibers

To make a better optical fiber for transmitting laser beams, the first idea that comes to mind is probably not a nice long hydrogen bath. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have put this hydrogen “cure” to practical use, making optical fibers that transmit stable, high-power ultraviolet laser light for hundreds of hours. 

 

 

 


Andrew WilsonNIST Ion Duet Offers Tunable Module for Quantum Simulator 

Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a pas de deux of atomic ions that combines the fine choreography of dance with precise individual control.

 

 

 


Dynamic metrologyIt’s a Dynamic World, Now NIST Can Help You Measure Its Changes

Crash-test dummies, yarn-spinning machines and steel girders in bridges. What do they have in common? Look inside them all and you find transducers, devices that measure the forces that push, pull, weigh upon and slam into them. Until recently, it was difficult to calibrate them in all but the simplest sense.

 

 


PG Crime LabIt’s a Match: NIST and Prince George’s County Crime Lab Team Up on Ballistics Research

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are working to improve ballistics matching methods with assistance from the Prince George's County, Maryland, Police Department Crime Laboratory. Their work together will contribute to a collection of topographic data from thousands of fired bullets and cartridge cases.

 

 


Ultra-enriched siliconBeyond Six Nines: Ultra-enriched Silicon Paves the Road to Quantum Computing

NIST researchers have created what may be the most highly enriched silicon currently being produced: more than 99.9999% pure silicon-28 (28Si). Many quantum computing schemes require isotopically pure silicon, for example to act as a substrate in which qubits – the quantum bits that store information – are embedded.

 

 


Physicists Scott Diddams and Scott Papp'Comb on a Chip' Powers New NIST/Caltech Atomic Clock Design

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a new design for an atomic clock that is based on a chip-scale frequency comb, or a microcomb.

 

 

 


Jodie PopeFill ‘er Up: NIST Develops Prototype Meter Test for Hydrogen Refueling Stations

To support the fair sale of gaseous hydrogen as a vehicle fuel, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a prototype field test standard to test the accuracy of hydrogen fuel dispensers.

 

 

 


 

Airport scannerBackscatter Body Scan Redux

Two years ago, NIST researchers reported an assessment of the radiation levels produced by a backscatter x-ray system used by TSA to screen airline passengers. Now a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) team is conducting independent measurements of a backscatter machine on NIST’s Gaithersburg campus.


 

Skin tonesSeeing Your True Colors: Standards for Hyperspectral Imaging

A technology called hyperspectral imaging offers doctors a noninvasive, painless way to discriminate between healthy and diseased tissue and reveal how well damaged tissue is healing over a wide area. The catch? A lack of calibration standards is impeding its use.

 

 

 


Illustration of bias voltage controlled magnetoresistance enabled in an organic light-emitting diode structure due to the charge trapping induced by the insertion of SAM.Manipulating Magnetic Field Effects in Organic Semiconductors

Researchers have found a way to change the magnetoresistance of a thin (≈ 100 nm) organic semiconducting material by pairing it with a self-assembled monolayer to alter its characteristics.

 

 

 


Lab apparatus

NIST Technique Could Make Sub-wavelength Images at Radio Frequencies

Imaging and mapping of electric fields at radio frequencies (RF)* currently requires the use of metallic structures such as dipoles, probes and reference antennas. To make such measurements efficiently, the size of these structures needs to be on the order of the wavelength of the RF fields to be mapped. This poses practical limitations on the smallest features that can be measured.

 

 


 close-up of SPADNew SPAD Control System -- High Efficiency, Low Noise

An exquisitely sensitive, semiconductor-based, single-photon detection system has the highest reported detection efficiency of any device of its type and is capable of detecting hundreds of millions of photons per second with very low noise.

 

 

 

 


micrograph of AFM tipAFM Systems Take a Tip from Nanowires

In response to requests from the semiconductor industry, scientists found that atomic force microscope probe tips made from its near-perfect gallium nitride nanowires are superior in many respects to standard silicon or platinum tips.

 

 

 


diagram of molybdenum disulfideNanoelectronics: First Measurement of Moly's Thermal Conductivity

Scientists have succeeded in measuring a previously unknown but essential property − thermal conductivity −of an ultra-thin material that is expected to play a major role in the fast-emerging field of nanoelectronics. 

 

 

 


 DNA strandsJILA Study Finds Crowding Has Big Effects on Biomolecules

Relatively little is known about the influence of crowding at the cellular level. A new study shows that it has dramatic effects on individual biomolecules, such as a 35-fold increase in the folding rate of ribonucleic acid.

 

 

 


diagram of chipNIST Chip Produces and Detects Specialized Gas for Biomedical Analysis

A chip-scale microfluidic device that both produces and detects a specialized gas used in biomedical analysis and medical imaging has been built and demonstrated. 

 

 

 


 image depicting scintillationDetecting Neutrons . . . With Light

A suite of precision tests show that excimer scintillation is a highly promising candidate to fill the growing worldwide need for neutron detectors. 

 

 

 


photo of microfabricationA 'Gold Standard' for Graphene Fabrication

A new method may herald a new generation of standards for electrical resistance. It offers substantial performance enhancement over most existing devices.

 

 

 


photo of new watt balanceUnderstanding a New Way to Weigh in the Revised SI

Jon Pratt, whose group is assembling and testing NIST's new watt balance, explains how the Planck constant is related to mass.

 

 

 


 George OrjiPML Leadership Prominent Throughout Newly Released ITRS
Several PML experts, along with others at NIST, served in key roles that helped shape the new edition of the ITRS.

 

 

 


Jason Coder and John LadburyCable Connections v. Cell Phones

A recently completed suite of measurements found that, in some situations, 4G cell phone signals can interfere with telecommunications connections.

 

 

 

 


detector apparatusNIST Chips Aid Study of Key Event in Early Universe

Contributions by NIST to the BICEP2 telescope research project have helped enable discovery of the first direct evidence of cosmic inflation.

 

 

 


co-developers of traveling combPortable Frequency Comb Rolls Out of the Lab

The traveling system can be operated at remote sites or in a moving vehicle, and has a volume less than 1 liter. But it produces measurements as accurate at those obtained with laboratory apparatus.

 

 

 


high harmonic generation waveguideDemagnetization Dynamics on a Femtosecond Time Scale

A NIST-CU collaboration through JILA is using ultra-short, high-energy light pulses to study the fundamental physics involved when materials become demagnetized on femtosecond time scales and nanometer spatial scales. 

 

 

 


scientist using SEM 3D Technique for SEM Metrology on ~ 10 nm Structures

 Researchers have developed a powerful new method for 3D characterization of nanostructures using scanning electron microscope data and a library of model shapes.

 

 

 


artist's conception of dropletJILA Physicists Discover 'Quantum Droplet' in a Semiconductor

The researchers used an ultrafast laser and help from German theorists to discover a new semiconductor particle. Although its lifetime is only a fleeting 25 ps, the quantum droplet is stable enough for research on how light interacts with specialized forms of matter.

 

 


 cutaway diagram of aerosol canistersDeclaring Aerosol Contents: What's in the Can?

PML's Office of Weights and Measures was recently asked to convene and lead a meeting of manufacturers, trade groups, and federal officials to reach a consensus on whether certain kinds of aerosol products should be sold by weight or by volume.

 

 

 

 


ring of atomsAtomtronics: Hysteresis Confirmed in a Superfluid BEC

Scientists measured the phenomenon -- predicted by theory but never before observed -- in a toroidal population of sodium atoms. Hysteresis is an essential property of electronic systems, and the research could hasten the advent of "atomtronic" circuits for practical devices.

 

 

  


diagram of clockStrontium Atomic Clock Sets World Records for Precision, Stability

The experimental system at JILA is about 50 percent more precise than the record holder of the past few years, NIST’s quantum logic clock, and would neither gain nor lose one second in about 5 billion years.

 

 

  


students with NIST scientistPreparing the Next Generation of Female Physicists

NIST partnered with the University of Maryland to sponsor the Mid-Atlantic Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics from Jan. 17 - 19, 2014. The event drew 135 women from 50 colleges and universities.

 

 

  


neutron with clockNew Precision in Measuring the Neutron Lifetime

Researchers achieved a five-fold reduction in the dominant uncertainty of their measurement methodology. Their results will intensify the worldwide effort to determine the exact lifetime of free neutrons.

 

 

 


laboratory deviceSurface Detail: Exploring the Secrets of Mass Variation

A team has developed innovative apparatus to study the way in which standard artifacts gain and lose mass in different environments.

 

 

 


new detectorMultiple Messages from Single Photons

A NIST-JPL collaboration has designed a new detector array that can extract more informaiton than usual from individual particles of light.

 

 

 


 Runway_distraction_anim_125Helping the Judicial System Understand Laser Strikes on Aircrafts

Joshua Hadler and colleagues in PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division have devised a simple, accurate measurement system that can help law enforcement and the judicial system in prosecutions involving a growing threat to aviation: laser attacks.


 


 


NIST4_125New Value for the Planck Constant May Hasten Electronic Kilogram

After two years of examining, refurbishing, and testing the aging workhorse watt balance (NIST-3), PML researchers have used the instrument to obtain their latest measured value of the Planck constant. The next will come from NIST-4, which will begin operations later this year.





Val_Volume_125

OWM Sees Progress in Proficiency Testing

The Office of Weights and Measures' Laboratory Metrology program, which recently revised its training and proficiency testing systems, has witnessed the highest test scores in six years.

 

 

 


EDM_125

Team Develops 'Spinning Trap' to Measure Electron Roundness

JILA researchers have developed a method of spinning electric and magnetic fields around trapped molecular ions to measure whether the ions' tiny electrons are truly round.

 

 

 


PML Staff Honored at 2013 NIST Awards CeremonySilver_Medal_125

NIST recognizes outstanding work at the 2013 Awards Ceremony, including achievements by dozens of PML employees.

 

 

 

 


boss_phantomNIST Calibration Tools to Encourage Use of Novel Medical Imaging Techniques

Researchers have developed prototype calibration tools for a promising experimental medical imaging technique.

 

 

 

 


Quantum-ComputingNIST Demonstrates How Losing Information Can Benefit Quantum Computing

Scientists entangle two ions by leaking some information to the environment.

 


 

 


Creating a chisel toolmark under controlled conditions with a custom-made rig.Supporting the Validity of Toolmark Identification

Strengthening the scientific basis of forensic toolmark identification by applying mathematically objective metrics.

 

 

 

 


nanowire placementThe Inner Secrets of Nanowires

New analyses using laser-assisted atom probe tomography show how the composition and morphology of layers depends on conditions during epitaxial growth.

 

 

 


 Marilyn_125In Memoriam: Marilyn E. Jacox

Marilyn E. Jacox, an internationally recognized leader in molecular spectroscopy who joined the National Bureau of Standards in 1962, died on October 30, 2013 at the age of 84.

 

 

 

 


Controllable Mode Competition in a Phonon Lasermembranes_original_125

Using a novel realization of a "phonon laser," scientists at PML and the Joint Quantum Institute have observed and learned to control a process called mode competition.

 

 

  

 

 

 


TEM_125Perfect Faults: A Self-Correcting Crystal May Unleash the Next Generation of Advanced Communications 

PML and an international team have joined to engineer and measure a potentially important new class of nanostructured materials for microwave and advanced communications devices.

 

  

 

 


Elizabeth-Donley_125NIST's New Compact Atomic Clock Design Uses Cold Atoms to Boost Precision

Physicists have demonstrated a compact atomic clock design that relies on cold rubidium atoms instead of the usual hot atoms -- a switch that promises improved precision and stability.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Robot_arm_125High-Tech Measurements for High-Frequency Antennas

A team of researchers at PML’s Antenna Metrology Lab in Boulder, CO has devised a first-of-its-kind system combining a precision 3-meter industrial robot arm with a metrology-grade laser tracker and other apparatus – that can measure a probe antenna’s position to within 50 micrometers while it is moving.

 

 

 

 


SIM Metrology School at NISTFourFolks_125

During the last week of October, 2013, 53 students from 29 countries attended the metrology school conducted by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD for the Sistema Interamericano de Metrologia (SIM).

 

 

 

 


Superconducting-Circuit_125Quantum Voltage Standard Delivered to BIPM

A PML team has delivered a state-of-the-art 10 V voltage standard to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM), where it will serve as the organization’s newest primary transfer standard for voltage comparisons with national metrology institutes around the world.

 

 

 

 


_-Konrad-Lehnert-and-Tauno-Palomaki_125Entangling' a Microscopic Drum's Beat with Electrical Signals

Extending evidence of quantum behavior farther into the mesoscopic realm, physicists have demonstrated quantum entanglement between a microscopic mechanical drum and a microwave pulse.

 

 

 

 

 


Balloon_125NIST Carbon Nanotube Chips Go Ballooning for Climate Science

A huge plastic balloon floated high in the skies over New Mexico carrying an experimental spectrometer with custom components devised by PML researchers. The instrument will provide data on solar irradiance for climate-related studies.

 

 

 

 

 


Silicon-Rings_125NIST/JQI Team Gets the Edge on Photon Transport in Silicon

Scientists at PML and JQI have a new way to approach a difficult problem in quantum physics by creating topological edge states of light. The photons behave like electrons in the quantum Hall effect, but respond to a synthetic magnetic field, thus providing a valuable new way to study quantum phenomena.

 

 

 

 

 


Light-Force-Laser_125Force to be Reckoned With: NIST Measures Laser Power with Portable Scale

The  new device could become a simpler, faster, less costly and more portable alternative to conventional methods of calibrating high-power lasers used in manufacturing, the military and research. It employs a mirrored scale that detects the force of the incoming laser beam.

 

 

 

 

 


ultracold_potassium_rubidium_molecules_125Beyond Quantum Simulation: JILA Physicists Create 'Crystal' of Spin-Swapping Ultracold Gas Molecules

The novel structure might be used to simulate or even invent new materials that derive exotic properties from quantum spin behavior, for electronics or other practical applications.

 

 

 

 

 


Spraying Mosquitoes...With Gamma Rayscup_125

A recently announced malaria vaccine – found to be 100 % effective in a small human sample – was years in the making, and relied on key measurements by PML scientists.

 

 

 

 

 


Ytterbium-Lattice-Atomic-Clock_125NIST Ytterbium Atomic Clocks Set Record For Stability

A pair of experimental atomic clocks based on ytterbium atoms has set a new record for stability. The clocks act like 21st-century pendulums or metronomes that could swing back and forth with perfect timing for a period comparable to the age of the universe.

 

 

 

 


Case_Front_125Making the Case for History

The original Declaration of Independence on display at the National Archives reached its 237th anniversary this year protected by NIST science and engineering.

 

 

 

 

 


Crime_Scene_980_125Collaboration with Industry Leads to Improved Forensics Work and Industry Growth

Three-dimensional (3D) scanners used at crime scenes for forensic investigations are not just the stuff of prime-time television. Investigators and crime laboratories are using laser scanning measurement systems to measure and model, in 3D simulations, the critical aspects of crime scenes.

 

 

 

 


Anthrax-toxins_125New Explanation for Key Step in Anthrax Infection Proposed by NIST and USAMRIID

A new hypothesis concerning a crucial step in the anthrax infection process has been advanced by scientists at NIST and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md.

 

 

 

 

 


interactions-among-atoms_125JILA Researchers Discover Atomic Clock can Simulate Quantum Magnetism

Researchers at JILA have for the first time used an atomic clock as a quantum simulator, mimicking the behavior of a different, more complex quantum system.

 

 

 

 

 


yuqin_125LEDs Get a Life Sentence

The light-emitting diode (LED) appears on track to become the light of our lives. Switching to bright, energy-efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly LED lighting systems could save the nation billions, and PML researchers are helping to make that transition possible.

 

 

 


GuysAtTable800_125The Persistence of Memory: Looking into MRAM

Many in the electronics industry want to change how memories are made. PML scientists are exploring the physics and developing the metrology required to do just that -- including an evaluative scan technique that is an order of magnitude faster than any comparably accurate method.

 

 

 


Hybrid-Metrology-Computer-Chip_125NIST Chip Measurement Advance Earns 'Oscar of Innovation'

A fundamental advance in measurement capabilities that could result in substantial savings for semiconductor manufacturers has earned a 2013 R&D 100 Award for its inventors.

 

 

 

 

 


Frequency-Comb-Cavity_125How to Make a Compact Frequency Comb in Minutes

Laser frequency combs, high-precision tools for measuring different colors of light, are becoming essential to fields from medical diagnostics to atomic clocks. Now PML physicists can make the core of a miniature frequency comb in one minute.

 

 

 

 

 


Standard Reference Material 2088 makes it possible to link CAT scans to the International System of Units for the first timeNEW NIST Standard Reference Material to Help Calibrate Hospital CAT Scanners

A new standard reference material is the first to enable hospitals to link important tissue-density measurements made by CAT scans to international standards.

 

 

 

 

 


spinflip125'Hot Spot' for Quantum Information

Researchers at NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute, with colleagues in the Netherlands, have proposed and tested a technique that can initialize a quantum bit that is stored in a semiconductor double quantum dot.

 

 

 

 

 


Alan Migdall_125High-Efficiency Photon Source Brings Day of Reckoning Closer for a Famous Quantum Test

Physicists working at NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute are edging ever closer to getting really random. Now they have devised a light source that provides the most efficient delivery of a particularly useful sort of paired photons yet reported.

 

 

 

 

 


Quantum-Dots_125New Quantum Dot Technique Combines Best of Optical and Electron Microscopy

It's not reruns of "The Jetsons", but researchers working at NIST have developed a new microscopy technique that uses a process similar to how an old tube television produces a picture -- cathodoluminescence -- to image nanoscale features.

 

 

 

 

 


FinFET-transistors_125Microscopy Technique Could Help Computer Industry Develop 3D Components

A technique developed several years ago at NIST for improving optical microscopes now has been applied to monitoring the next generation of computer chip circuit components, potentially providing the semiconductor industry with a crucial tool for improving chips for the next decade or more.

 

 

 

 



NIST-Radio-Station_125Time to Celebrate: NIST Radio Station WWVB Logs 50 Years of Innovation

Fifty years ago on July 5, 1963, a modest radio station in Fort Collings, Colo., offcially went on the airwaves -- a landmark event for U.S. industry and the American public.

 

 

 

 

 



Angela Hight Walker, PML, places a sample for Raman Spectroscopic characterization.Promoting Nanomaterial Manufacturing by Characterizing and Minimizing Environmental Risks

PML supports the NIST Nano Environmental, Health, and Safety Initiative with thorough quantitative physical-properties measurements of nanomaterials.

 

 

 

 



LipeRotator_124New AC Voltage Devices: Factor of Three Improvement in Uncertainty


After years of effort and scores of iterations, PML researchers have developed a new generation of devices that can reduce the uncertainties in ac voltage measurements by a factor of three.






Diffusion Phantom_124

MRI Phantoms: Moving to the Next Stage

As magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology progresses and new uses expand, the need for reliable standards becomes all the more pressing. PML researchers are meeting that challenge with phantoms to ensure intercomparability of images.







Bose-Einstein-Condensate_124First Observation of Spin Hall Effect in Quantum Gas is Step Toward 'Atomtronics'

NIST researchers report the first observation of the "spin Hall effect" in a Bose-Einstein condensate, a cloud of ultracold atoms acting as a single quantum object.






TEScombo800_124Closing the Last Bell-Test Loophole for Photons



An international team of researchers has reached a milestone in experimental confirmation of a key tenet of quantum mechanics, using ultra-sensitive photon detectors devised by PML scientists.

 





shelves800_124Luggage Screening Standards Prove their Value

Until NIST devised one, there was no national standard for evaluating the imaging quality of computed tomography machines used at airports for security scanning of checked luggage -- about 1 million pieces of which are screened every day. Now the new standard is saving substantial time and money.






New-NIST-Reference-Materials-for-MEMS-devices_124New NIST Measurement Tool is on Target for the Fast-Growing Mems Industry


As markets for MEMS devices grow and diversify, PML researchers have introduced a long-awaited measurement tool that will help device designers, manufacturers and customers to see eye to eye on eight dimensional and material property measurements that are key to device performance.






Emergency-Radio-Transmissions_124NIST Tests in New York City Suggest How to Improve Emergency Radio Communications

Radio communications can be unreliable in underground tunnels and other large, complicated structures, putting first responders at risk. New tests of wireless emergency safety equipment by PML's Kate Remley and colleagues suggest how emergency communications might be improved.






Super-Nanotubes: 'Remarkable' Spray-on Coating Combines Carbon
Super-Nanotube-Composite_124Nanotubes with Ceramic


Researchers from NIST and Kansas State University have demonstrated a spray-on mixture of carbon nanotubes and ceramic that has unprecedented ability to resist damage while absorbing laser light.






Time-Signals_124NIST Demonstrates Transfer of Ultraprecise Time Signals over a Wireless Optical Channel

By bouncing eye-safe laser pulses off a mirror on a hillside, PML scientists have transferred ultraprecise time signals through open air with unprecedented precision equivalent to the "ticking" of the world's best next-generation atomic clocks.






Don't Call it Vaporware: Scientists Use Cloud of Atoms as OpticalNIST-Vapor-Logo_124 Memory Device

Talk about storing data in the cloud: Scientists at NIST, the Joint Quantum Institute, and the University of Maryland have taken this to a whole new level by demonstrating that they can store visual images within quite an ethereal memory device—a thin vapor of rubidium atoms.






Nanomagnet_124New NIST Microcope Measures Nanomagnet Property Vital to 'Spintronics'

PML researchers have developed a new microscope able to view and measure an important but elusive property of the nanoscale magnets used in an advanced, experimental form of digital memory.




NIST Mechanical Micro-Drum Used as Quantum MemoryMicro-drum_124

One of the oldest forms of computer memory is back again--but in a 21st century microscopic device designed by PML physicists for possible use in a quantum computer






Nanoparticles_124Temp-Controlled 'Nanopores' May Allow Detailed Blood Analysis

Tiny biomolecular chambers called nanopores that can be selectively heated may help doctors diagnose disease more effectively.






NIST Quantum Refrigerator Offers Extreme Cooling and Refrigerator_124Convenience

PML scientists have demonstrated a solid-state refrigerator that uses quantum physics in micro- and nanostructures to cool a much larger object to extremely low temperatures.







oscilloscope_124New NIST Time Code to Boost Reception for Radio-Controlled Clocks

Researchers in PML's Time and Frequency Division are changing the way NIST broadcasts time signals that synchronize radio-controlled "atomic" clocks and watches to official U.S. time






Francesco-Marsili-at-the-SPD-experiment_124

High Efficiency in the Fastest Single-Photon Detector System

A single photon may not seem like much of a catch. But detecting photons one-by-one with near-perfect reliability is formidably difficult.





Nanotubes-on-a-Chip_124NIST's 'Nanotubes on a Chip' May Simplify Optical Power Measurements

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has demonstrated a novel chip-scale instrument made of carbon nanotubes that may simplify absolute measurements of laser power, especially the light signals transmitted by optical fibers in telecommunications networks.






Bryan Barnes loads a wafer into the NIST-built 193 wavelength microscope.New 3D Defect Detection Fills Important Industry Gap

PML scientists have developed a technique to create a 3D image quickly and non-destructively that can enable fast and non-destructive detection of defects at the nanometer level.


 

 


detail of drawingUnprecedented Measurements for Spintronic Components

PML researchers' one-of-a-kind apparatus is revealing unexpected damping behavior in nanomagnets that can serve as spintronic switches. The measurements are of intense interest to potential manufacturers.

 

  

 


Aaron Johnson with flow equipmentWhen Natural Gas Travels, NIST Goes with the Flow

Calibrating flow meters used on the nation's 300,000 miles of pipelines is a complex, demanding, multi-stage process that begins with apertures 0.2 inches in diameter and ends with 30-inch pipes at 1000 psi.

 

 

 


 

GloveboxOpening the Door to Advanced Molecular Electronic Metrology

Researchers have built a simple bilayer molecular circuit, combining separately formed monolayers of organic materials on silicon and gold surfaces respectively to create a fully characterized molecular level device.

 

 

 


detail of NIST 10V voltage standardA Voltage Standard for the Whole World

Sam Benz and colleagues are about to begin delivery of a highly automated, programmable Josephson voltage standard that does not require an expert physicist to operate -- and thus can be used in a wide variety of labs around the globe.

 

 

 



data plot from publicationSurprise Findings About Single-Photon Quantum Emitters

Single, indistinguishable photons feature prominently in many schemes for quantum computing. But new research that tracks photon production through the entire emission cycle of a laser-excited quantum dot shows that, contrary to conventional understanding, multiple photons can be produced.

 

 

 


divers work on MOBYSeeing the Oceans in Their True Colors

Analyzing performance and assessing uncertainties in the world's principal instrument for calibration of ocean-color measurements by orbiting satellites is a long, complicated, and evolving job.

 

 

 


Andras Vladar operates the NIST dimensional metrology reference SEMFacilitating Clean and Effective SEM Usage in the Nano Era

PML leads the way in ensuring that SEM users have the ability to gather contamination-free measurements.

 

 

 


tube containing microcapillary arrayMRI: Contrast Agents of Change

Magnetic resonance imaging may soon offer extraordinary new diagnostic and observational possibilities. Recent experiments with magnetic contrast agents hold the promise of real-time imaging of multiple cell types and physiological phenomena simultaneously.

 

 

  


hoisting a nuclear waste containerLarge-Mass Calibration: A Matter of Scale

Calibrating a 32,500 pound nuclear waste container to an uncertainty of 0.1 pounds is a highly complicated process that begins with the primary national standard kilogram and works its way up through many orders of magnitude.

 

 

 


surface of photon detectorDetecting Single Photons at High Efficiency

Scientists at PML's Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division have devised and improved a novel single-photon detector with 93% system detection efficiency, using an unconventional superconductor for the device's grid of nanowires.

 

 

 


Probe Tip of the CMMGauging the Needs of the Petroleum Industry

PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division is finding new ways to support the booming petroleum industry in the area of thread gauge calibrations.

 

  

 



Circular patch of carbon nanotubes on a pink silicon backingNIST's 'Nanotubes on a Chip' May Simplify Optical Power Measurements

Researchers have demonstrated a novel chip-scale instrument made of carbon nanotubes that may simplify absolute measurements of laser power.

 

 

 


Marlin Kraft adjusts connections on a current shunt resistor that dates from 1899.Minimizing Uncertainty in Current Events

PML's Marlin Kraft was recently asked to troubleshoot DC current measurement problems for a major instrument manufacturer.

 

 

 


A new wide-angle neutron spin-filter cell.A Whole New Angle on Neutron Spin Analysis

Researchers from PML, the NIST Center for Neutron Research, and NIST’s glass/optical shop have devised an innovative, improved spin-polarization filter

 

 

 


Polymerized-Membrane_125NIST Patent Could Give 'Lab on a Chip' Technology Long Shelf Life

Having blood drawn and analyzed to diagnose disease is a process that can take a few days, but what if your doctor could perform this analysis in moments, right before your eyes? That's the promise of "lab on a chip" technology, and researchers are working on a variety of fronts to remove technical roadblocks.

 

 

 


Evaporative CoolingJILA Physicists Achieve Elusive 'Evaporative Cooling' of Molecules

Achieving a goal considered nearly impossible, JILA physicists have chilled a gas of molecules to very low temperatures by adapting the familiar process by which a hot cup of coffee cools.

 

 

 


Fiberoptics_125'Standard Quantum Limit' Smashed, Could Mean Better Fiber-Optic Comms

Communicating with light may soon get a lot easier, hints recent research* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Maryland's Joint Quantum Institute (JQI), where scientists have potentially found a way to overcome a longstanding barrier to cleaner signals

 

 

 


diagram of phantomBringing Calorimetry to CT Dose Assessment

A team has shown that determining absorbed dose by measuring the temperature change it prompts in plastic phantoms is a valuable complement to the conventional method -- and might eventually come to serve as a primary standard.

 

 

  


Petri125Ultraviolet Water Treatment

A group of researchers from PML's Sensor Science Division is part of a project that will have a direct effect on improved safety of the nation's drinking water.

 

 

 


 

Requests-per-Wavelength_125Uses and Users of NIST's Atomic Spectra Database

A new analysis of how PML's online Atomic Spectra Database (ASD) is being used turns up some surprising patterns and preferences. The information will help improve the utility of the reference used worldwide.

 

 

  


 

Richter (left) and Jang (right) measuring the spin-valve effect of a device.Electron Spin Transport Demonstrated for First Time in an Organic Device

Researchers in the Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division's Nanoelectronic Device Metrology (NEDM) Project have demonstrated a phenomenon that could be important in the burgeoning field of spintronics. 

 

 

 


 

electron beam trapNIST Experiments Challenge Fundamental Understanding of Electromagnetism

Recent experiments suggest that predictions based on the fundamental theory of electromagnetism may not accurately account for the behavior of atoms in exotic, highly charged states.

 

 

 


JILA X-Wing buildingConstruction Industry Honors JILA X-Wing

JILA's new X-Wing addition has received two construction industry awards—best project in higher education/research and special judges' recognition—from the Engineering News-Record, a trade magazine.

 

 

 


experimental apparatus'Magic Zero' Technique Reduces Atomic Clock Uncertainty

Scientists from a PML-Joint Quantum Institute group have devised and demonstrated a novel method for making the most precise measurements to date of the properties of two atomic transitions in rubidium. 

 

 

 


Igor Vayshenker1000 Calibration Reports...And Counting

Igor Vayshenker of PML's Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division recently completed his 1000th calibration folder for optical power meters.

 

 

 

 


vacuum chamberEnriched Silicon: Going for Four Nines

A team in PML's Quantum Measurement Division is developing a method to grow 99.99 % pure Si-28 crystal to satisfy the needs of the quantum information community at relatively low cost.

 

 

 


close-up of probe tipsDevices to Measure Temperature (and More) with Light

NIST might soon be able to provide metrology support for a new generation of photonic temperature sensors with numerous potential benefits over the standard platinum resistance thermometer, including cost and ease of calibration.

 

 

 

 


Randy Wagner and test apparatusNIST - VA Agreement Leads to New Research on Hearing Aids

The Acoustics Team in PML's Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division have reinstated an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to characterize hearing aids. 

 

 

 


Deborah JinDeborah Jin Chosen for 2013 Women in Science Award

Jin, a NIST physicist who works at JILA, will receive the L’Oreal-UNESCO award and $100,000 at a ceremony in Paris next March.

 

 

 

 


Nanoparticles viewed under a fluorescence microscope.New Method Measures Movements of Tiny Devices  

PML tracked, for the first time, the step-by-step motion of a standard type of MEMS device called a "scratch drive actuator."

 

 

 


Micrograph of a quantum bus deviceCollaboration Puts Wheels on the Quantum Bus

In collaboration with Princeton, PML has shown how a major hurdle in transferring information from one quantum bit to another might be overcome.

 

 

 


David WinelandPML Physicist David Wineland Wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics

Wineland, of the Time and Frequency Division, is the fourth PML Nobel laureate in the past 15 years. The composite image at right shows an enlarged photo of an ion trap in the background.

 

 

 


John Nibarger in the new clean room.New Boulder Clean Room Open for Business

After months of construction, installation, troubleshooting, and testing, the new clean room at NIST's Precision Measurement Laboratory complex on the Boulder campus is now fully operational.

 

 

 


Kevin Wright checks part of the experimental apparatus.The First Controllable Atom SQUID

Scientists have created the first controllable atomic circuit that functions analogously to a superconducting quantum interference device and allows operators to select a particular quantum state of the system at will.

 

 

 


Close up of water-jet target used to produce picosecond x-ray pulsesComing Soon: Tabletop Molecular Movies

A multidisciplinary team has devised and demonstrated a pulsed x-ray source intended to reveal atomic-scale activity with picosecond resolution during chemical reactions.

 

 

 


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