This Just In! (Archives)
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NAS awards the Comstock Prize approximately every five years to "recognize a North American resident for a recent innovative discovery or investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiant energy." The prize has been awarded 20 times since 1913 (first recipient: Robert Millikan), and previous winners include John N. Bahcall (2004), Leon N. Cooper and J. Robert Schrieffer (1968), Charles H. Townes (1958), William Shockley (1953), Ernest O. Lawrence (1938), Percy W. Bridgman (1933), and Clinton J. Davisson (1928).
The NAS announcement states that "Jin is being honored for landmark experiments that demonstrated quantum degeneracy and the formation of a molecular Bose-Einstein condensate in fermionic atomic gases cooled to less than 100 billionths of a degree above zero using magnetic traps and lasers."
The prize will be presented at the NAS annual meeting in DC on April 27, 2014.
PECASE WinnersTwo PML researchers – Gretchen Campbell of the Quantum Measurement Division and Ana Maria Rey of JILA – have been selected for the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. Also chosen for a PECASE award is R. Joseph Kline of the NIST Material Measurement Laboratory's Materials Science and Engineering Division.
In announcing the 102 recipients for 2013, President Obama said that "the impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead. We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America's global leadership for many years to come."
The PECASE awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation's goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy.
The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, D.C., ceremony in the coming year. For more information on the award and winners, read the full announcement here.
Back to the Future
Coursework at MSC
Many PML researchers will be giving presentations as part of the NIST program of one-, two-, and three-day seminars at the upcoming Measurement Science Conference in Long Beach (March 10-14). They are:
Jay Hendricks, Dawn Cross, Doug Olson, Karen Garrity, and Michal Chojnacky of the Thermodynamic Metrology Group;Aaron Johnson and John Wright of the Fluid Metrology Group; and Georgia Harris of the Office of Weights and Measures.
Alejandra Torres, an American Chemical Society summer student who worked with Zeeshan Ahmed last summer, has received a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The invited review article titled "Single-photon sources and
detectors," by Alan Migdall and colleagues in the Quantum Optics Group, appeared in the American Institute of Physics' Review of
Scientific Instruments in July of 2011. As of this month, it is among that journal's three
most-read papers. Again.
A Couple of Fine Fellows
Lehnert was cited “for developing experimental methods that enable the quantum control and measurement of micro-mechanical oscillators and for developing practical microwave amplifiers that operate at the quantum limit.”
Division Chief Tom O’Brian says: “Konrad joined NIST and JILA in December 2005, elected to JILA Fellowship in recognition of his potential to bring nanoscience expertise to JILA in collaboration with more traditional JILA AMO strengths. Konrad has succeeded wonderfully, leading a continually growing and evolving program coupling micromechanical oscillators and electromagnetic fields advanced by Konrad’s unique “noiseless” microwave amplifiers, with impacts in quantum information, precision metrology, and many other areas.”
In related news, Dave Wineland has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a relatively new organization, founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors working at universities and non-profit research organizations. He is the named inventor on only one patent -- US4146848 A (granted 1979) for a frequency stabilization technique in atomic/molecular beam devices such as atomic clocks, but the honor has a broader scope:
Wineland and the other 142 new Fellows in the 2013 class were “nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation,” according to the NAI announcement.
Old Hands on Deck
PML researchers Paul Hale of the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division, and Ron Ginley, Dylan Williams, and Tom Crowley of the Electromagnetics Division, served as instructors at the recent two-day ARFTG-NIST Short Course on Microwave Measurements held in Columbus, OH. The Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) is a technical organization interested in all aspects of RF and Microwave test and measurement, and the course was intended for engineers, graduate students, experienced technicians, and technical managers.
The striking cover image (shown at right) for the December, 2013 issue of Nature Photonics – created by Emily Edwards, Director of Outreach at the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) – illustrates results of a milestone paper in that journal on topological edge states of light by Mohammad Hafezi, Sinil Mittal, Jingyun Fan, Alan Migdall, and Jake Taylor of the Quantum Optics Group and JQI. To see the Nature Photonics cover itself, click here.
Under Pressure at AVS
Joining the Academy
Two PML/Boulder researchers have been inducted into the 2013 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: David Nesbitt of the Quantum Physics Division, and David Wineland of the Time and Frequency Division. “The Induction Ceremony recognizes the achievement and vitality of today’s most accomplished individuals who together with the Academy will work to advance the greater good,” said Academy Secretary Jerrold Meinwald. “These distinguished men and women are making significant strides in their quest to find solutions to the most pressing scientific, humanistic, and policy challenges of the day.”
Gaitan to Hall of Fame
Gaitan chairs the MEMS Technology Working Group, which publishes its annual MEMS Technology Roadmap by the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative and the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, and works in developing industrial consensus for the need of standard measurement protocols for device calibration and testing. These efforts have resulted in the recent publication of the "Standardized Sensor Performance Definitions" terminology document by the MEMS Industry Group and the imminent formation of a new IEEE Standards Committee on device characterization measurement standards.
By the Book
Four scientists from the Quantum Optics Group in the Quantum Measurement Division – group leader Alan Migdall, Sergey Polyakov, Jingyun Fan, and Joshua Bienfang – are the editors of a forthcoming book, Single-Photon Generation and Detection: Physics and Applications, Volume 44 in the series Experimental Methods in the Physical Sciences.
To be published next month by Elsevier's Academic Press, the book “is designed to cover the full range of single photon technology,” Migdall says, “an overview of all the technologies out there for both sources and detectors. We have given enough depth in each so that someone could use this book as guide to the best solution to their single photon application.”
Tom Lucatorto and Albert Parr of the Sensor Science Division served as treatise editors for the volume.
Rocky Mountain High (Impact)
A team from the Time and Frequency Division’s Atomic Devices and Instrumentation Group has received a 2013 [Colorado] Governor's Award for High-Impact Research, which “celebrate the achievements of Colorado's outstanding federal research scientists.”
John Kitching, Svenja Knappe, and Elizabeth Donley (the “NIST Chip-Scale Atomic Device Team”) were honored "for their work in Foundational Technology for their research and development program for ultraminiature devices. Their work brings the precision associated with atomic clocks to a wide range of applications, from time-keeping to magnetometry to medical imaging. The team demonstrates extraordinary scientific leadership, innovation, and people leadership in combining the diverse technical fields of laser physics, atomic physics, and microelectromechnical systems (MEMS) to pioneer new measurement science and technologies.”
Patent Not Pending
U.S. Patent number 8,543,356 – Low cost multi-channel data acquisition system, invented by Alan Migdall and Sergey Polyakov of the Quantum Optics Group, and Sae Woo Nam of the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Group – has been issued and assigned to NIST.
From the patent abstract: “Embodiments of the present invention provide an inexpensive and fast pulse characterization platform capable of real time operation, suitable for acquisition of single-photon data. Embodiments of the present invention include both a digital multi-channel data acquisition instrument and an analog pulse acquisition instrument suitable for a wide range of applications in physics laboratories. An FPGA performs multi-channel acquisition in real time, time stamps single events, and determines if the events fit a predetermined signature, which causes the events to be categorized as a coincidence. The indications of coincidences are then communicated to a host computer for further processing as desired.”
By Invitation Only
A special invited issue of The Bulletin of the Materials Research Society (October 2013) is devoted to “Materials issues for quantum computation.” It features an article titled “Surface science for improved ion traps” and written by researchers from the Time and Frequency Division and the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division: Dustin Hite, Yves Colombe, Andrew C. Wilson, David Allcock, Dietrich Leibfried, David Wineland, and David Pappas.
Annual NRI Review Completed
The NRI (Nanoelectronics Research Initiative) Annual Review, held October 22 -24 in Rockville, MD, was an upbeat affair, with all three NIST-NRI multi-university research centers presenting exciting new technical results obtained in their first seven months of operation. The Center for NanoFerroic Devices (CNFD) reported advances in magnetoelectric and ferroelectric materials and device structures -- advances toward combining the functions of logic and non-volatile memory in a single low-power device. The Southwest Academy of Nanoelectronics (SWAN) and the Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery and Exploration (INDEX) reported complimentary advances in graphene materials and device structures -- advances supporting the development of new devices for fast, ultra-low-power digital logic. Another highlight of the review was the Device Performance Benchmarking Workshop, which included a free-wheeling discussion of additional metrics and methodologies for an expanded assessment of exploratory device concepts under both the NRI program and the Semiconductor Research Corporation's new STARnet program. NRI is a consortium of leading semiconductor companies (Globalfoundries, IBM, Intel, Micron, and Texas Instruments) working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to collaboratively fund university research.
Around the Lab
As of Oct. 1, the new Leader of the Sensor Science Division’s Optical Radiation Group is Cameron Miller, replacing Eric Shirley.
Michael Foss-Feig, a postdoc who splits his time between NIST and the Joint Quantum Institute, is featured in the Autumn 2013 issue of National Academy of Science’s Research Associateship Program newsletter. Recently Foss-Feig won the received the 2013 American Physical Society Award for Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Research in Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physics.
University of Colorado undergraduate researcher Johnathon Gard, who has been working with the Quantum Devices Group in Boulder in the Professional Research Experience Program, submitted a paper he wrote about his research to an internal CU competition for student work that has been judged “excellent” in the university’s Writing on Science and Society Program. His paper was awarded second place. Says Dave Rudman, leader of the Quantum Devices Group: “If you see Johnathon, congratulate him. The world can use more scientists who can write.”
Jin Named to DOE Advisory Panel
“These individuals represent some of the best and brightest in their respective fields and it is a great privilege that they have agreed to offer their expertise to the Energy Department,” Secretary Moniz stated in a DOE news release. “Having a diverse set of voices around the table will ensure that the Department has a strategic approach to the nation’s energy, science, nuclear security, and environmental stewardship future.”
Fellowship for Lehman
John Lehman of the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division has been awarded a Special Research Fellowship by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, administered by the German government to bring distinguished international researchers to Germany for extended periods. Lehman’s nine-month research fellowship will begin November 1, 2013.
A multi-unit NIST collaboration has yielded a patent ("Nanofabrication Process and Nanodevice”) for a novel 3D nanofluidic device. Michael Gaitan of PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, Samuel M. Stavis of the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and Elizabeth Strychalski of the Material Measurement Laboratory’s Biosystems and Biomaterials Division devised the complex nanostructure fabrication resulting in the first 3D nanofluidic device for on-chip, high-resolution, high-range, high-throughput nanoparticle sorting and metrology. Anticipated uses include manufacturing, medicine, and DNA analysis, among others.
PML Clocks in at Prague
Andrew Ludlow of the Time and Frequency Division – the lead researcher on the Yb lattice clock results recently published in Science Express – was awarded the EFTF Young Scientist Award, the top international prize for rising time and frequency scientists. Travis Nicholson – a CU grad student working with Jun Ye of the Quantum Physics Division on the Sr lattice clock – won the Best Student Paper award for his description of recent Sr lattice results.
“The many outstanding results and continuing improvements in both the Sr and Yb clocks are the result of many breakthroughs, including exquisitely stabilized lasers, unexpected new atomic physics in lattices, and a lot of hard work by many scientists on both teams,” said Time and Frequency Division Chief Tom O’Brian.
Rey Found 'Most Promising'
The Most Promising Scientist Award is an early-career award for Hispanic-American researchers. Rey is an AMO theorist, making crucial contributions to NIST and JILA leadership in ultracold atoms and molecules, atomic clocks, quantum information, and many other areas. She is involved directly in the details of experiments and has enabled many breakthroughs by identifying ways to improve experiments.
The award will be presented at the 25th Annual HENAAC conference in New Orleans, October 3-5, 2013.
Guiding the Guidelines
On July 29, 2013, new cancer screening guidelines made national headlines. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of health care experts that evaluates the latest scientific evidence on clinical preventive services, issued a draft recommendation that long-time heavy smokers aged 55 to 79 should receive annual low-dose CT scans for lung cancer. That conclusion arose after many discussions in which the Quantum Measurement Division’s Charles Clark and colleagues explained the importance of calibration protocols, standards, reference materials, and quantitative measurement to the medical experts.
Around the Lab
Award-winning physicist Kent Irwin of the Quantum Devices Group has left NIST to take a faculty position at Stanford. Group Leader Dave Rudman says “it’s a bummer for us. But we will be continuing the full Quantum Sensors program here, and collaborating with Kent in his new position.”
At the June 2013 meeting of the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics of the American Physical Society, Joseph Reader of PML’s Atomic Spectroscopy Group presented an invited paper on “The Role of Forbidden Lines in Understanding Processes Taking Place in Low-Density Plasmas.” The talk highlighted measurements with the NIST electron beam ion trap to provide tools to diagnose the high temperature plasmas that will be created in the ITER tokamak being built in Cadarache, France.
In May 2013, Yuri Ralchenko of the Atomic Spectroscopy Group participated in the 3rd Technical Meeting of the Code Center Network of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This network was organized to gather and provide access to computational codes and to calculated atomic, molecular, and plasma-surface interaction data relevant for modelers in fusion and plasma sciences. The meeting, which brought together experts from all major countries involved in fusion research, was devoted to analysis of uncertainty propagations in advanced codes and produced extensive recommendations on code benchmarking, data exchange, and future directions in code validation and verification.
On June 28, 2013 Bill Phillips gave his trademark presentation, “Time, Einstein, and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe,” at the Royal Institution in London – the same venue where Michael Faraday delivered his celebrated Christmas Lectures.
Richer Flavors of Magnetism
That issue of the journal is dedicated to the subject of “Non Abelian gauge fields” This dreadful moniker is actually the name of a deeper, richer version of something that everyone loves: magnetism.
A magnetic field is the simplest (Abelian) version of a gauge field, and until recently, it was the only gauge field that could be produced and controlled conveniently. Recent developments in experimental ultracold atomic physics, notably the contributions of JQI Fellow Ian Spielman and his colleagues, have made it possible to create synthetic gauge fields using laser light. These developments point the way towards practical, constructive implementation of novel types of quantum field theory, which is the subject of all of the papers in that special issue of J. Phys. B.
Such implementations are a major focus area of the JQI Atomtronics Program, funded by the U.S. Army Research Office. Atomtronics is a new field that explores extensions of conventional electronics. Instead of using electrons to transport energy and information, atomtronics uses “atom circuits,” in which ultracold atoms serve as the carriers of mass and quantum information. Recent JQI achievements in this area include the observation of a spin Hall effect in a quantum gas and the demonstration of the atomtronic analogue of a superconducting quantum interference device.
-- Charles Clark
Kitching, Knappe Honored
John Kitching and Svenja Knappe of the Time and Frequency Division will receive 2014 Rank Prizes in optoelectronics "for the creation and demonstration of the first chip-scale atomic clock."
The award ceremony will take place in London early next year. Sharing the prize will be Leo Hollberg, now at Stanford University, who hired Kitching and Knappe at NIST and led their research group in 2004 when the chip-scale atomic clock was invented.
|At the synchrotron in the 1960s.|
NIST hosted The 17th Pan-American Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Conference and associated workshopsfrom June 17-21, 2013. (Click here for program.) The events on June 18 included a workshop on “50 Years of Atomic Physics with Radiation” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a landmark paper –describing the first atomic physics experiment using synchrotron radiation– by Robert Madden and Keith Codling: "New Autoionizing Atomic Energy Levels in He, Ne, and Ar." The work was conducted at the NBS Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF) where Madden eventually served as Director.
Peter Mohr and Carl Williams of the Quantum Measurement Division attended a meeting of the BIPM's Consultative Committee on Units in Sevres, France on June 11 and 12. Mohr presented a paper by himself and Bill Phillips about a revision of the SI involving dimensionless units.
"A number of commonly measured quantities like plane angle and solid angle, or atoms, molecules, and photons, do not have any formal units in the International System of Units (SI)," Phillips says. "This situation sometimes leads to confusion, as in cases involving frequencies that might be expressed in radians per second or in cycles per second, both of which formally have units of inverse seconds." The paper discussed this problem and asked for action to reduce the confusion and the possibility of mistakes and misunderstanding in the reporting of research results."
At the meeting, the issues were recognized as being valid and warranting action to modify the SI accordingly," Mohr says. "The details of how this should be done will be the subject of further study by a task group of the CCU."
The Time and Frequency Division held its 38th annual Time and Frequency Metrology Seminar from June 4 to 7 at the NIST laboratory in Boulder, CO. Approximately 50 people from industry, academia, international organizations and government agencies participated.
"One of the prominent features of the seminar is that it covers a wide range of relevant topics to not only the time and frequency community but also to other industries that require time to make their technologies work," says David Howe of the Time and Frequency Metrology Group, who is the technical coordinator of the seminar.
"For this year's seminar we offered several new topics and an extraordinary group of expert lecturers, including David Allan who is the originator of the famous Allan Variance, and Mike Driscoll of Northrup Grumman, who is the IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for 2013, and John Vig, expert in quartz-crystal resonators and 2008 IEEE President."
New topics, chosen based on last year's comprehensive seminar surveys, included timing and navigation in GPS-denied areas using FDOA (frequency difference of arrival), relativistic corrections, and applications needing phase-stable atomic oscillators. Updated talks were provided in all other topics, including highly stabilized laser oscillators, optical frequency dividers, and chip scale atomic clocks.
Next year the seminar will be held June 3 – 6, and on-line registration is expected to be available in December, 2013. For information, contact David Howe.
At the June 3-7 meeting of APS' Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP), JILA graduate student Michael Foss-Feig won the 2013 DAMOP Thesis Prize for his thesis "Quantum simulation of many-body physics with neutral atoms, molecules and ions." Foss-Feig, now a postdoc at the Joint Quantum Institute, studied under JILA Fellow (and NIST associate) Ana Maria Rey, who had won the same award in 2005. Current JILA Fellow James Thompson won the thesis prize in 2004.
The award to Foss-Feig is the latest in a long-standing record of accomplishment in which NIST/PML has been recognized for outstanding STEM education as well as scientific breakthroughs.
"From 2002 to the present, a total of eight NIST/Boulder or JILA graduate students have won the DAMOP thesis prize," says Time and Frequency Division Chief Tom O'Brian. "That is an impressive record of teaching and mentorship in AMO physics and STEM education."
The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) has awarded PML’s Office of Weights and Measures (OWM) the Authorized Provider accreditation. IACET Authorized Providers are the only organizations approved to offer IACET Continuing Education Units. The accreditation period extends for five years, and includes all programs offered or created during that time.
“NIST Office of Weights and Measures is proud of our education programs which train hundreds of metrologists and weights and measures officials each year in important legal metrology skills so that the U.S. weights and measures system stays on the cutting edge,” says OWM Chief Carol Hockert. “Our new partnership with IACET is a demonstration of our commitment to lifelong learning and high standards for all of our programs.”
IACET is a non-profit association dedicated to quality continuing education and training programs, and the only standard-setting organization approved by the American National Standards Institute for continuing education and training.
In related news, Georgia Harris of OWM received a Best Paper Award from the American Society of Engineering Educators' (ASEE) Division of Experimental and Laboratory-Oriented Studies at the ASEE 2013 Annual Conference.
|David Wineland (left) and David Nesbitt|
David Wineland of the Time and Frequency Division and David Nesbitt of the Quantum Physics Division have been elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The new members will be inducted at a ceremony on October 12, 2013, at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Four PML researchers are being honored with 2012 Arthur S. Flemming Awards:
Gretchen Campbell (Quantum Measurement Division) is being honored in the “basic science” category for pioneering accomplishments in the emerging field of atomtronics.
Michal Chojnacky (Sensor Science Division) is being honored in the “social science, clinical trials and translational research” category for translating research in temperature measurement to public health clinics and primary care physician offices to help ensure the potency of over $3.6 billion dollars of vaccines distributed each year through programs administered by the CDC.
|Clockwise from top left: Campbell, Ullom, Pibida, Chojnacky|
Joel Ullom (Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division) is being honored in the “applied science and engineering” category for developing and deploying a revolutionary new type of high-resolution radiation detector to solve important national measurement problems related to nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear forensics, and advanced materials analysis.
In a speech before the Washington, D.C. Downtown Jaycees in the late 1940s, Dr. Arthur S. Flemming suggested that the group create an award to recognize exceptional young employees within the federal government. In 1948, the Downtown Jaycees established and presented the first Flemming Awards. Since 1998, the awards have been administered by The George Washington University, which this year will present the awards at a ceremony on June 10.
PML scientists played a major role in the arrival of a new industry-group document, released May 3, 2013, which is expected to hasten acceptance of industry-wide performance standards for testing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as accelerometers, magnetometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors.
MEMS device testing and calibration can consume 30% to 60% of total manufacturing cost. In 2010, NIST and the MEMS Industry Group (MIG, a trade association) worked together to organize a Testing Standards Workshop, after which Michael Gaitan of the Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division was invited to lead the MEMS Technology Working Group (TWG). Since then, industrial participation in the TWG has grown to more than 60 companies worldwide. TWG documented the need for testing standards and has been developing the concept of an integration path for roadmapping.
Now MEMS manufacturers and systems integrators have joined together to tackle the first step in developing standards for device data sheets: Standardized Sensor Performance Parameter Definitions. "Such terminology documents are often the first step in developing a standards program," Gaitan says. "In this case, they are a prelude to standards for device performance tests.”
|At a recent OWM training session, inspectors test a home heating oil delivery truck’s meter for accuracy. Photo courtesy of Jerry Buendel.|
During the week of April 22 – 26, 2013, PML’s Weights and Measures Program conducted a training session, hosted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in Olympia, WA, on Vehicle Tank Meters and Loading Rack Meters. Attendees included weights and measures inspectors from Arizona, Utah, Alaska, Idaho and the City of Seattle along with our staff for the course. The training focused on meters used on petroleum delivery trucks and meters used at large fuel terminals, where tanker trucks fill up to deliver to retail and wholesale fuel outlets.
OWM instructors Tina Butcher and Marc Buttler furnished course materials, and enriched the training by arranging for manufacturers to bring cutaways of their meters and talk about the features of the devices. WSDA Inspector Bruce Feagan presented the safety segment of the training.
NIST’s Synchrotron Ultraviolet Radiation Facility (SURF III) is partnering with the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source and the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility to host the 17th Pan-American Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation Conference. The gathering will be held on the NIST Gaithersburg campus from Wednesday, June 19, 2013 to Friday, June 21, 2013. The conference was last held at NIST in 1993.
In addition, workshops will be held Monday, June 17 and Tuesday, June 18. One day-long event, titled “50 Years of Atomic Physics with Synchrotron Radiation,” will celebrate 50th anniversary of the landmark Madden and Codling paper “New Autoionizing Atomic Energy Levels in He, Ne, and Ar” at NBS/SURF. This paper was the first publication using synchrotron radiation in an atomic physics experiment.
From left to right: Kent Irwin, Leila Vale, Gene Hilton, Carl Reintsma, Jim Beall, and Joel Ullom. Click on image for enlarged view.
A team headed by Kent Irwin of the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division's Quantum Devices Group has been selected to receive a Rocky Mountain Eagle Award on May 8, 2013. The award, issued annually by The Colorado Federal Board, honors the "federal employee of the year" in several categories.
Irwin, Gene Hilton, James Beall, Carl Reinstema, Joel Ullom, and Leila Vale won in the "Scientific Project or Achievement" division for their work on Cosmic Microwave Background cameras at the South Pole and the Atacama Cosmological Telescope in Chile.
|Mike Mayberry, VP and Director of Component Research, Intel.|
The 2013 International Conference on Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics, held at (and co-sponsored by) NIST in Mar. 2013, was an enormous success, bringing in ?170 attendees from all over the world. The bi-yearly conference, the ninth in the series, focused on the frontiers and innovation in characterization and metrology of nanoelectronics for semiconductor manufacturing, a $300 billion industry.
Keynote talks by Mike Mayberry, VP and Director of Component Research, Intel (pictured left); Naga Chandrasekaran, VP of Process R&D, Micron; and Gyeong-Su Park, Leader of Analytical Science Group, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, set the tone early on the first day, driving home the message that metrology is critical as chip sizes shrink to 20 nm. Nearly 30 other invited talks and 70 poster presentation followed over the three-day event. The slides and posters from many of these presentations can be viewed on the conference website.
“Audience feedback on the talks was extremely positive,” stated David Seiler, chair of the conference. “Many of the people I spoke with thought that this was the best conference we’ve had yet and that it was very well-organized. I was pleased with the high quality of the invited talks and posters.”
This month Wiley is publishing Introduction to Metal-Nanoparticle Plasmonics by Matthew Pelton and Garnett W. Bryant, leader of PML's Quantum Processes and Metrology Group.
The publisher describes the contents as "an explanation and overview of the techniques used to model, make, and measure metal nanoparticles, detailing results obtained and what they mean." In addition, it provides "an overview of key potential applications and offers explanations of computational and experimental techniques giving readers a solid grounding in the field."
Joseph Reader of the Quantum Measurement Division represented the United States at a recent meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency at a Research Coordination Meeting on "Light Element Atom, Molecule and Radical Behavior in the Divertor and Edge Plasma Regions."
The meeting of about 20 representatives from different countries, held at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, focused on data that will be needed in the mentioned subject areas for the large controlled fusion reactor known as ITER, being built in Cadarache, France. Reader is also a permanent member of the International Fusion Research Council Subcommittee on Atomic and Molecular Data for Fusion.
The winner of the 2013 Edward E. Altshuler Prize Paper Award from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society was written by Christopher Holloway, Joshua Gordon, and Jim Booth of the Electromagnetics Division, with colleagues elsewhere. The 26-page paper, "An Overview of the Theory and Applications of Metasurfaces: The Two-Dimensional Equivalents of Metamaterials," was published in April, 2012 in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine.
|PML's Jay Hendricks teaches during the two-day measurement course.|
At the recent Measurement Science Conference (March 18-22 in Anaheim, CA), PML scientists conducted a two-day NIST Metrology School course on the subject of "NIST Pressure and Vacuum Measurement." Instruction covered the fundamentals of pressure measurements from 10-8 Pa to 108 Pa.
Bill Phillips continues to bring PML science and educational outreach to diverse global destinations. In March, 2013, he traveled to New Zealand for an international conference on Finite Temperature Non-Equilibrium Superfluid Systems in Queenstown. There he gave a talk titled "Atomic gas superfluid atomtronic circuits" about recent research by Gretchen Campbell and colleagues in the Laser Cooling and Trapping Group. In Dunedin, at the University of Otago, he gave a seminar on "Synthetic Electromagnetic Fields for Cold Neutral Atoms," about work by the group's Ian Spielman. While there, he also gave a public presentation of his trademark lecture, "Time, Einstein, and the Coldest Stuff in the Universe."
In Brazil, in conjunction with a symposium and other events organized to celebrate the 80th birthday of distinguished MIT physicist Daniel Kleppner (named an honorary professor of the Institute of Physics of São Carlos at the University of São Paolo), Phillips gave a public lecture and symposium presentations on topics similar to his Dunedin talks.
And finally, were that not enough, on April 3 he traveled to the Friends Community School, a Quaker school in College Park, MD, where he talked to an audience of fifth- through eighth-graders about cold atoms.
|Rick Silver (left) and Bryan Barnes in the lab.|
Richard Silver of the Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division has been named as the 2013 Intel Outstanding Researcher in Metrology, based on his project “Scatterfield Assessment for Advanced Defect Inspection,” conducted at NIST.
The notification letter said that “over the last 3 years, this project has successfully demonstrated the advantages of wavelength scaling for defect inspection and the need for tailored optical parameters for optimizing sensitivity to the defect of interest and the device design. You and [PML colleague Bryan Barnes] have developed comprehensive finite-difference time-domain methods in house to simulate the optical interaction at the wafer surface.”
It also noted that Silver’s “regular publications . . . in laser-based defect inspection and scatterfield microscopy helped spur industry-wide interest in this area. Intel would like to extend a special thank you for supporting industry and supplier discussions on the learning from this work.”
"A motivation for the poster was to preserve the names, and provide pictures, for notable women who made significant contributions to NBS/NIST and to supplement the memories provided by the SAA Portrait Gallery," says Karen Olsen of the PML Lab Office, a member of the Committee for Women. "Another motivation was to give NIST employees the opportunity to step back and reflect on work that had been done at NIST long ago."
The women commemorated on the new poster include a distinguished non-scientist, Elizabeth L. “Betty” King, who began work in 1952. Her entry notes that “Her administrative management skills were so prized that she was asked to return from retirement to be the executive assistant to NIST’s first Nobel Prize Winner. [Bill Phillips, Physics, 1997] King managed the Nobel winner’s numerous travel and speaking engagements, while simultaneously organizing the business side of his research group, which was quickly growing to five times its original staff size.”
Also featured on the poster is Margarete "Greta" Ehrlich, who earned her doctorate in 1952 while working at NBS. She was the resident expert on personnel dosimetry using photographic-film badges as well as neutron dosimetry, and co-authored SP250-21, which is still used today as a reference for some calibration services, namely "Calibration of beta-particle radiation instrumentation and sources."
|Graduate students taught by Russ Dickerson (third from left) visit Jacob Ricker (in back at right) and Jay Hendricks (far right).|
Jay Hendricks and Jacob Ricker of the Thermodynamic Metrology Group recently provided a lab tour and tutorial for University of Maryland graduate students taking a class (AOSC 634, “Air Sampling and Analysis") from UMD professor Russell Dickerson. The visit focused on precise pressure measurement, how to calibrate a barometer, measurements of greenhouse gas infrared spectra, and state of the art methods for air pollutant standards and detection.
Two PML postdocs from the Quantum Measurement Division received honors in the physics category of annual Sigma Xi Postdoctoral Poster Presentation held at NIST on February 27, 2013. Matthew Beeler’s poster, “The Spin Hall Effect in a Quantum Gas,” was named “Most Outstanding.” (Other authors: R. Williams, K. Jiménez-García, L. LeBlanc, A. Perry, and I. Spielman.) And Ryan Wilson’s “Superfluidity and Emergent Structure in Scalar and Binary Dipolar Bose Gases” was named "Outstanding." (Co-authors: C. Ticknor, E. Timmermans, and J. L. Bohn.)
PML scientist and NIST Fellows Joseph Reader and Charles Clark published an article titled "1932, a watershed year in nuclear physics," in the March 2013 issue of Physics Today. It recounts the remarkable events of that year, which led to six Nobel Prizes. One of these, given in 1934 to Harold Urey of Columbia University, was for the discovery of deuterium, the heavy stable isotope of hydrogen. NIST, then the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), played a key role in this discovery and its applications.
|PML's Charles Clark at the Brickwedde plaque on the Penn State campus. Photo courtesy of Ken O'Hara, PSU|
Later, after the U.S. Government decided to pursue a thermonuclear bomb, Brickwedde was put in charge of building a cryogenic production plant in Boulder that could deliver large quantities. The first demonstration of a thermonuclear device, Ivy Mike, was conducted on November 1, 1952, about 21 years after Brickwedde had first produced milligram quantities of deuterium in the NBS Low Temperature Laboratory. Brickwedde was awarded the Gold Medal of the Department of Commerce for his contributions in this matter.
Ian Spielman of the Quantum Measurement Division and his Joint Quantum Institute colleague Victor Galitski published a review titled "Spin-orbit coupling in quantum gases" in the February 7 2013 issue of Nature. The authors note that "Spin-orbit-coupled cold atoms represent a fascinating and fast-developing area of research significantly overlapping with traditional condensed-matter physics, but importantly containing completely new phenomena not realizable anywhere else in nature."
The February 2013 issue of Nature Photonics contains a News and Views article about a paper from PML's Quantum Optics Group that appeared on January 6 as an online publication in the same journal: Francisco Becerra et al, "Experimental demonstration of a receiver beating the standard quantum limit for multiple nonorthogonal state discrimination." The News and Views author notes that one implication of the work is that "employing a quantum receiver in a multilevel modulation optical communication system could significantly enhance the system's transmission distance or capacity."
|Doug Olson (left) at the meeting with A.K. Bandhyopadhyay, Head of Apex Level Standards and Industrial Metrology at the Physical Measurement Laboratory of India.|
Douglas A. Olson of the Thermodynamic Metrology Group traveled to India to attend the 8th International Conference on Advances in Metrology, and delivered an invited talk titled “Future Directions in Pressure Metrology at NIST,” which highlighted PML’s recent developments and new research in pressure and vacuum metrology.
He also promoted NIST activities in pressure and vacuum including discussion of research and standards activities with the National Physical Laboratory of India (NPL) Pressure and Vacuum Standards Group. NIST and the NPL pressure and vacuum group have a relationship spanning three decades with joint standards development, staff exchange, and joint research publications.
Bill Phillips has accumulated many awards. But none quite like the distinction he received recently at his own home town of Camp Hill, PA. The Camp Hill Lions Foundation, a private foundation set up to support the local school system (where the lion is the school mascot) inducted Phillips as the first recipient (for 2012-2013) of its newly created “Wall of Honor Award.”
In March, 2013 a new exhibition titled “Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There” will open at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum.
It will feature, among nearly 150 other attractions, the venerable NIST-7 – the last NIST atomic clock before NIST-F1 – as well as one of the first chip-scale atomic clocks, and a couple of other items on loan from NIST to the Smithsonian. NIST-7 and the chip-scale clock were previously on display at NIST/Boulder.
The museum describes the theme of the 5,000 square foot exhibition this way: “If you want to know where you are, you need an accurate clock. About 250 years ago, sailors first used accurate clocks to navigate the oceans. Today we locate ourselves on the globe with synchronized clocks in orbiting satellites. Among the many challenges facing navigation from then to now, one stands out: keeping accurate time.”
Tom O’Brian, Chief of PML’s Time and Frequency Division, says that NIST was first approached by the Smithsonian Institution in 2004.
The 2013 Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics (FCMN) conference, which will be held at the NIST, Gaithersburg, campus on Mar. 25-28, 2013, is ending early bird registration on Feb. 15, 2013. The early bird fee of $450 includes all sessions, coffee breaks, lunches, a reception, a banquet, a barbecue, and an extended abstract booklet with CD-ROM. On-line registration is available. After Feb. 15th, the fee will rise to $550.
The FCMN, co-sponsored by NIST and chaired by David Seiler, Division Chief of PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division, will examine the latest advances in characterization and metrology that will help shape the future of the nanoelectronics revolution. Keynote speakers include: Mike Mayberry, VP and Director of Component Research, Intel; Naga Chandrasekaran, VP of Process R&D, Micron; and Gyeong-Su Park, Leader of Analytical Science Group, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. Over 30 other invited talks will offer overviews, and poster papers will supplement those overviews with the latest metrology-based research results. The full schedule is online.
Nature Photonics has published a detailed overview of a recent paper by scientists from the Quantum Measurement Division’s Quantum Optics Group. “The report of a quantum receiver that can distinguish quadrature-phase-shifted keyed signals with an error rate beyond the standard quantum limit bodes well for improving the performance of coherent optical communication systems.”
Joseph Reader, Director of the Quantum Measurement Division's Atomic Data Center, recently learned that one of his group's publications was the most read paper in the Journal of Physics B, Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics during the month of December 2012. "Extreme ultraviolet spectra of highly charged xenon observed with an electron beam ion trap" by D. Osin, J. Reader, J. D. Gillaspy, and Yu Ralchenko was also named as ab Institute of Physics Select paper for 2012 on the basis of “novelty, significance, and potential impact on future research.”
Christopher Meyer of the Sensor Science Division’s Thermodynamic Metrology Group was quoted in an ASTM news announcement about ASTM’s new international standard that provides recommendations for the manufacture and selection of digital thermometers. (ASTM E2877, Guide for Digital Contact Thermometers.) From the ASTM report:
“These industries wish to convert to digital thermometers but until now there has been no ASTM standard for them,” says Meyer. “Also, there has been no set of defined accuracy classes that could help specify the type of thermometer needed for a given application. ASTM E2877 is necessary for instructing these industries in the basics of digital thermometers and for providing a standard that can be used in operation protocols. . . .
“ASTM E2877 describes the various types of contact digital thermometers that are on the market and discusses the relative characteristics of each,” says Meyer. “It also defines a set of accuracy classes for digital thermometers that may be used to help specify the type of digital thermometer needed for an application. It will allow industries that have previously specified mercury thermometers in their protocols to use digital thermometers.”
John Teufel, a new staff member in PML’s Quantum Information Project, was invited to speak at the Institute for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics’ Winter Graduate School on AMO Physics in Tucson, AZ, Jan. 4 – 11, 2013. This year’s winter-school topic was "Quantum Control of Mesoscopic Systems." Teufel’s talk was titled "Quantum Optomechanics with Microwave Photons.”
Michal Chojnacky and Dawn Cross of the Thermodynamic Metrology Group gave demonstrations on Jan. 17, 2013 as part of the STEM Fair at Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Chojnacky and Cross ran the liquid-nitrogen exposition table, one function of which was to produce ice cream. A school official described the demonstration as “a big hit.”
Ian Spielman of the Quantum Measurement Division has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He was nominated by the APS Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). His citation is "for innovative and pioneering work in quantum phenomena at the intersection of atomic and condensed matter physics, using quantum simulation with ultracold atoms, including the use of optical interactions to create artificial electromagnetic fields and spin-orbit coupling." Spielman will receive his award at the DAMOP annual meeting, which will be held June 3-7, 2013, in Quebec City in Canada.
Four researchers from the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division’s Quantum Devices Group contributed to astronomical observations that Physics World has listed in its selection of “top ten breakthroughs for 2012.”Kent Irwin, Joseph Fowler, Michael Niemack, and Daniel Swetz are co-authors on a recent paper reporting the first measurement of slight temperature distortions in the cosmic microwave background caused by an effect predicted decades ago by theorists. The work ranked No. 4 on Physics World’s list. (The Higgs boson results from CERN were No. 1.)
“This is the first detection of the long-sought kinematic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect with the Atacama Cosmology Telescope,” says Irwin. “This measurement enables the determination of the relative motion of distant galaxy clusters, which will place new constraints on dark matter and dark energy, and allow the measurement of the mass of the neutrino.”
Joel Ullom of the Quantum Devices Group in the Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division has received the 2012 Roger W. Boom Award from the Cryogenic Society of America. Ullom was cited for “his exceptional contributions in applied superconductivity and cryogenic engineering.
"These contributions include the demonstration of on-chip quantum refrigerators, the development of new superconducting x-ray and gamma-ray spectrometers that provide new capabilities both for industrial materials analysis and nuclear materials accounting, and the development and commercialization of an important cryogenic system.”
The award comes with a $1000 honorarium and a plaque with an image of Roger W. Boom, whose family trust funds the award.
|Kate Remley examines the PASS test equipment.|
New test methods for RF emergency beacons, developed by Kate Remley and colleagues in the Radio-Frequency Fields Group, have been incorporated into the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2013 revision of NFPA 1982: Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems. Development of the new standardized test methods was supported by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Standards Branch through a multi-year research project at NIST/Boulder.
Personal alert safety system (PASS) devices (“firefighter-down” alarms) are worn by all firefighters. Recently, some manufacturers have incorporated radio-transmission capabilities into their PASS systems, allowing incident command stations outside a structure to both monitor individual firefighters and to send “evacuate” alarms into the structure, if necessary. The latter represents a significant advance in the safety of firefighters, especially in light of the loss of radio communication experienced during 9/11. However, the existing NFPA 1982 standard could not qualify these systems for use. Two out of a suite of five test methods developed by Remley and co-workers were adopted into the 2013 revision of the NFPA standard. The DHS Standards Branch is continuing to fund the researchers at NIST to provide technical support for the complete suite of test methods, which will be taken up by the NFPA in the next revision.
“In the future,” Remley says, “the suite of test methods may also be applied to standardized testing of numerous types of next generation RF-based emergency equipment such as broadband radios, location tracking systems, and emergency response robots. These technologies help to ensure that the response communities’ needs are met and will further enhance their safety.” For more information about the test-method development, see a recent story in PML at Work.
“Within the parameters of the labs' work,” Paquette wrote, “the training and certification program provided by NIST's laboratory program provides documented traceability by an independent third party, legal justification, documented proficiency, and a sense of professionalism to the functions of a state lab. These are the key points that I communicated when I advocated and supported the continuation of a recognized lab in Vermont.
“Fifteen and a half months ago, the state of Vermont's Metrology lab was destroyed by tropical storm Irene. We were left with no balances, most of the other equipment damaged, the weight standards covered with silt. Everything that was salvageable was brought to my barn at my house in the field inspectors pickup trucks. . . .
“Literally, within a few hours after the event, NIST lab personnel were in contact offering me assistance. I did not contact NIST. They heard of our situation and contacted us. Over the next many months, NIST lab personnel worked with me by: offering references to services, advising on the weight standards, reviewing the ranges of and if balances met specifications, environmental monitoring options, and environmental control requirements for the facility. Advice was given in regard to control charts and the characterization of balances/comparators. In short, NIST staff worked closely assisting me and the state of Vermont greatly.”
|Cover of Report GCR 12-971|
A recently published, descriptive case study highlights the benefits of NIST’s leadership in developing standards for solid state lighting.
In The Economic Benefits of NIST’s Role in the Market Transition to Solid State Lighting Technology, (Report GCR 12-971, Dec. 1, 2012), author David Leech writes: “NIST is making important, economically valuable, contributions to the lighting market’s transition to solid-state lighting. NIST’s internationally recognized measurement expertise and capabilities, as well as its reputation for the highest quality independent technical judgment, eased the transition to SSL technology, lowered the cost of commercialization, and improved market acceptance of SSL products. These, in turn, resulted in more rapidly increased sales and the earlier realization of energy savings benefits. The economic benefits of NIST’s contribution are estimated conservatively in the tens of millions of dollars in the lighting market alone!”
Last month, Joseph Reader of the Quantum Measurement Division’s Atomic Spectroscopy Group presented a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry colloquium titled “The Role of Forbidden Lines in the Pursuit of New Sources of Energy through Nuclear Fusion” at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The talk was also carried by closed circuit TV to the George Mason campus in Prince William County. The talk was hosted by Professor Abul Hussam, inventor of the Sono arsenic filter, for which he received the 2007 sustainability prize awarded by the National Academy of Engineering.
Garnett Bryant of the Quantum Measurement Division’s Quantum Processes and Metrology Group recently completed a book project with an outside collaborator, Matt Pelton of Argonne National Laboratory. The authors expect that Wiley will publish “Introduction to Metal Nanoparticle Plasmonics" in the spring.
Kate Remley of the Electromagnetics Division’s Radio-Frequency Fields Group has been named a Fellow of IEEE. The organization honored her “for contributions to calibration and measurement of wireless communication systems.”
The distinction “is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest,” the organization states, and “the total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one- percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.”
Francois Martzloff, who retired from the EEEL Electricity Division (since incorporated into the Quantum Measurement Division) in 2003 but served as an associate for years therafter, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the IEEE Standards Association "for a lifetime of integrity, leadership, and mentorship in standards development for surge-protective devices and power quality fostering technological innovation, excellence and benefit to humanity."
The award is "presented annually to an individual having a 15+ year commitment to standards development within IEEE and other national and international standards activities who provided significant technical contributions to a standards committee or in their field of interest."
Martzloff spent 18 years at NIST, following 29 years at General Electric. A 2008 inductee to the Surge Protection Hall of Fame, he is the author of the still-popular NIST document Surges Happen, a primer on protecting home appliances.
|The new Mid-Atlantic Section. Credit: APS|
Several PML scientists played a central role in the creation of the latest – and possibly the last – regional Section of the American Physical Society (APS) in the United States: the Mid-Atlantic Section for physicists based in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington DC, as well as most of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The APS news story notes that Stephan Schlamminger of NIST spearheaded the effort . . . [and] . . . first remarked on the lack of a Mid-Atlantic Section to Beverly Berger, a former chair of physics at Michigan’s Oakland University and NSF program officer. She advised him to do something about it and put him in touch with Charles Clark of NIST . . . [who] . . . is now Chair of the Nominating Committee” for Section officers. In addition, Claire Cramer, Joseph Tedesco, and Uwe Arp were involved in the effort.
The November 8 issue of Nature carries a news story about the work done by Paul Lett and colleagues in the Quantum Measurement Division’s Laser Cooling and Trapping Group. The Nature authors cite a recent paper in Physical Review Letters which was the subject of a NIST Tech Beat article.
|Michal Chojnacky checks a thermometer.|
Research conducted by Michal Chojnacky of the Sensor Science Division’s Thermodynamic Metrology Group played a major role in the protocols described in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) newly released vaccine storage and handling “toolkit.”
The 134-page document, which will also be distributed by the World Health Organization, is expected to save many lives because, as the CDC warns, “failure to adhere to required protocols for storage and handling can reduce vaccine potentcy, resulting in inadequate immune responses inpatients, as well as inadequate protection against disease.”
NIST biophysicists John Kasianowicz and Joseph Robertson of the Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division’s CMOS Reliability and Advanced Devices Group are quoted in a news story titled “Nanopore DNA sequencing inches closer to commercial debut” which appears in the November issue of Physics Today.
According to the article abstract, “Developers of a promising single-molecule detection technique hope to accomplish in hours what took the Human Genome Project several years.” Brief accounts of the NIST scientists’ recent work can be found in NIST Tech Beat and on the group home page.
Lisa Karam, Chief of the Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, gave an invited talk at a recent radiation metrology workshop hosted by the Laboratorio Costarricense de Metrología (LACOMET, the National Measurement Institute of Costa Rica) and the Costa Rican Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC, DoC’s counterpart). The event emphasized the importance of ionizing radiation to the economy. Karam’s presentation was titled “International Ionizing Radiation Metrology: Applications for Safety in Health.”
Seltzer worked in what was then the Ionizing Radiation Division of the Physics Laboratory from 1962 to 2010. Since his retirement from NIST in 2010, he has remained active as a Guest Researcher in the Dosimetry Group, headed by Michael Mitch.
PML was heavily represented at the Quantum Foundations Symposium, held from October 10 to 12 at the University of Maryland, co-organized by Bill Phillips with support from the Joint Quantum Institute.
The event featured many of the world’s leading figures in quantum research, including 2012 Nobel Prize winner Dave Wineland, 2003 Nobel Prize winner Anthony Leggett, Alain Aspect (a co-organizer and UMD visiting professor at the time), Daniel Kleppner, Wojciech Zurek, David Mermin, Artur Ekert , Philippe Grangier, and Jean Dalibard.
The December issue of Physics Today (and its associated website) will feature a report about a recent paper in Physical Review Letters titled “Testing Three-Body Quantum Electrodynamics with Trapped Ti20+ Ions: Evidence for a Z-dependent Divergence Between Experiment and Calculation.” The experiment was conducted at PML by an international collaboration including NIST scientists John Gillaspy, Lawrence Hudson, Albert Henins, Joshua Pomeroy, and Joseph Tan.
NIST has entered into a five-year, $2.7 million agreement with Rice University and its Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology to advance the study of nanoparticles. Technical leads for the NIST side of the partnership are Kalman Migler of the Complex Fluids Group in the Materials Science and Engineering Division at NIST, and Angela Hight Walker of the Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division. The project will investigate the properties of carbon-based nanostructures such graphene, fullerenes, and nanotubes at extremely small scale.
|Students enjoy the results of the liquid-nitrogen experiment. Photo: Patuxent Valley Middle School|
“We all enjoyed our ice cream as well as the science behind it,” said 8th-grade science teacher Anne Gauthier. “It was the hit of the festival. We are really lucky to have a partnership with NIST’s scientists. I personally have used several of the teaching resources I got while attending the NIST summer institute for Middle School Science Teachers.”
Lisa Karam, Chief of the Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, gave an invited talk to representatives of GULFMET, the regional metrology organization comprising national metrology institutes of the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar, State of Kuwait and the Republic of Yemen. The presentation, “World-Wide Radiation Metrology: Activities in SIM,” was given in conjunction with the 29th meeting of the Joint Committee of the Regional Metrology Organizations and the BIPM, held at NIST on 26 September, 2012.
Karam will give another presentation, “Radiation Metrology for Safety,” at Simposio de Metrologia 2012: Innovation in measurements for a better quality of life, in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico from 8 to 12 October, 2012 under the auspices of CENAM (Mexico’s NMI).
Alabama has amended state law to adopt NIST standards in Handbooks 44 (Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices) and 130 (Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality) as the official standards. In doing so, Alabama becomes the 49th state to adopt voluntary metric-only labeling.
The Office of Weights and Measures has published NIST Handbook 156, Program Handbook for Engine Fuels, Petroleum and Lubricant Laboratories. “This handbook,” says office Chief Carol Hockert, “will serve as a guide for the states in enforcing fuel quality laws, whether they maintain their own fuel quality laboratory or contract for testing services through another source.”
A paper titled “Status of the GRaDER Program,” authored by Leticia Pibida, Heather Chen-Mayer, and Mike Unterweger of the Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, with others, appears in a recent issue of the Defense Standardization Program Journal.
Eric Cornell of the Quantum Physics Division has won the Ioannes Marcus Marci Medal for molecular spectroscopy, awarded by the Ioannes Marcus Marci Spectroscopic Society of the Czech Republic.) for molecular spectroscopy. The work for which Cornell was honored was done in collaboration with colleague Jun Ye.
A new guest researcher, Denise Simões, from the Laboratório Nacional de Metrologia das Radiações Ionizantes, the designated institute for ionizing radiation measurements in Brazil, is working with Brian Zimmerman in the PML's nuclear medicine program to establish technical cooperation between NIST and Brazil's Instituto de Radioproteção e Dosimetria in the field of metrology of ionizing radiation.
|Tina Butcher receives award from NCWM Chairman Kurt Floren.|
Butcher has made significant and lasting contributions to codes throughout Handbook 44 and was integral in the creation of code sections such as the Mass Flow Meter Code. She is widely regarded for her superior technical writing skills and her calm manner that leads to input from others toward sound decision-making. She has earned the respect of NCWM members for her ability to inject important technical and historic information in the decisions.
OWM Metric Coordinator Elizabeth Gentry received the Education and Training Award of The National Conference of Standards Laboratories International (NCSLI). The award is one of the highest of the organization and is given for outstanding leadership and contributions to the field of metrology education and training.
Gentry conducts numerous webinars for the laboratory metrology community on such topics as Contract Review, Document Control and Record Keeping, Internal Auditing Best Practices, and Conducting an Effective Management Review. Through her leadership, the NCSLI Education and Outreach Liaison Committee, the Metrology Ambassador education outreach effort, and the Metrology Careers partnership, together have reached nearly 30,000 students over the past five years with the message about measurement science and career opportunities in metrology.
Finally, Marc Buttler of OWM shared in the recognition of the CSA Group’s 2012 Division Medal, awarded for outstanding work by a Technical Advisory Group in protecting consumer safety through the advancement of safety technology or practices consistent with sound engineering. The award was given to the Hydrogen Gas Vehicle (HGV) Fueling Parameter Verification Group, to which Buttler contributed.
In late July of 2011, an invited review article about single-photon sources and detectors, by PML Quantum Optics Group Leader Alan Migdall and colleagues M. D. Eisaman, J. Fan, and S. V. Polyakov, was published in AIP’s Review of Scientific Instruments. For 12 consecutive months thereafter, it has consistently ranked fifth or higher on the journal’s list of its 20 most-read articles, and most recently was #5 in the July 2012 tally.
|From top: Jacob Alldredge, Matthew Hummon, Benjamin Stuhl|
A graduate student, Benjamin Stuhl, was recognized for an Outstanding Presentation for his presentation titled "Evaporation of Magnetically Trapped Dipolar Molecules," with co-authors Mark Yeo, Matthew T. Hummon, Alejandra Collopy and Jun Ye.
Jacob Alldredge from the Electromagnetics Division was recognized for "Magnetic Particle Imaging with a Cantilever Detector," with co-author John Moreland.
A total of five awards were presented to postdoctoral and graduate student researchers at the 2012 Boulder Poster Symposium, the ninth in the annual conference series. This award was initiated at the 1st symposium held in 2004, which had been organized in honor of the Boulder Laboratories 50 Year Anniversary. The sponsor of this event is the Boulder Labs Diversity Council.
A workshop was held at NIST in June 2012 to explore the possibilities for novel electronic devices, and devices with improved performance, that use recent advances in atomically precise fabrication. More than 40 international experts attended, representing 15 institutions from Australia, Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.
The event grew out of recent DARPA-funded research on tip-based nanofabrication and the Atomically Precise Manufacturing Consortium.This new methodology creates conductor, semiconductor, and insulator regions by deterministic and atomically precise placement of dopant atoms in Si, without metal-oxide-semiconductor interfaces. Single electron, quantum dot, and single atom transistors, as well as atomically precise nanowires, have recently been demonstrated. The intention of the workshop was to explore new possibilities in quantum computing; in digital, analog, optical, and magnetic devices; and in improvements and extensions of atomic resolution processes, fabrication tools, and modeling/design tools that would be required for production.
Three of the 16 talks were given by NIST staff, including an opening presentation on quantum computing and challenges in realizing atomically precise solid state quantum devices given by Carl Williams, Chief of the Quantum Measurement Division. The event was co-organized by PML's Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division.
"The Two-Dimensional Equivalents of Metamaterials," by PML Electromagnetics Division scientist Christopher Holloway and colleagues at NIST and elsewhere, was recently featured on the cover of Antennas & Propagation magazine.
On June 14 2012, the American Vacuum Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter held a DC regional meeting at NIST. The conference featured four invited talks on Focused Ion Beams (FIBs), a vacuum equipment vendor’s exhibit, and tours of the NIST nanofabrication facilities and FIB labs. The conference was well attended (with total registration of 57) and included vendors representing a record 14 different vacuum equipment technology companies along with attendees from local educational institutions (Virginia Commonwealth University and the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism) and government laboratories (NASA, NIH, NRL, and NIST).
Lisa Karam, Chief of the Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, gave a talk on the occasion of World Metrology Day (May 21, 2012). Karam’s talk, part of a NIST colloquium, was titled “Radiation Metrology for Safety in Health Care,” in keeping with the theme of this year’s celebration, "Metrology for Safety." She covered topics including history, radiation measurements for diagnostic (imaging) and therapeutic (radiation therapy) applications, and the use of radiation to assure safety of medical devices (sterilization).
On June 5-6, people around the world watched the last Transit of Venus to be seen until the year 2117. A few hundred of them saw it on June 5 at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, where postdoc Stephen Redman (shown at right) of the Atomic Spectroscopy Group in PML’s Quantum Measurement Division gave an illustrated talk followed by a live video feed of the transit. On the previous day, Redman was interviewed by Kojo Nnamdi of National Public Radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show.
Last November, the Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division hosted a technical workshop related to optical medical imaging in November 2011. Now the proceedings from that workshop have been published in a special issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics Express. Jeeseong Hwang of the Biophysics Group, who organized the workshop, served as guest editor for the special issue.
On June 3, a day-long workshop titled “Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Micro- and Nanosystems” – organized by a group of three NIST researchers: Michael Gaitan of PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division; Robert Cook of the Material Measurement Laboratory; and Jason Gorman of the Engineering Laboratory – was held in conjunction with the Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems Workshop in Hilton Head, S.C.
A semi-popular article by PML’s Charles Clark and Joseph Reader about the discovery of deuterium, the stable heavy isotope of hydrogen, was selected as a feature article for the May 2012 issue of Optics and Photonics News, the monthly magazine of the Optical Society of America.
The article highlights the role of NIST (then NBS) low-temperature expert Ferdinand Brickwedde in the 1931 discovery. He was recruited to the hunt for deuteriumby Harold Urey of Columbia University, who wanted Brickwedde to prepare samples of liquid hydrogen. By photographing spectra of the samples on a high-resolution spectrograph, Urey found an extra line in the spectrum at the wavelength expected for this long-sought isotope. The discovery earned Urey the 1934 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Brickwedde, meanwhile, continued a distinguished career. While still at NBS, he produced the liquid deuterium fuel for the first hydrogen bomb explosion in 1952. Subsequently, Brickwedde was appointed Dean of the College of Chemistry and Physics at the Pennsylvania State University. He died in 1989 at the age of 86.
The photo at left shows Brickwedde with his wife, physicist Marion Langhorne Howard Brickwedde (1909-1997). Between them is the apparatus for making heavy water.
NIST will host the DC Regional Meeting of the American Vacuum Society’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter on Thursday, June 14, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For details or questions, contact Jay Hendricks of the Sensor Science Division.
PML's Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division played a large role in the recently published report from NIST's Standards Coordination Office. Titled A Case Study -- The Economic Benefits of NIST’s Role in Security Standards Development: X-Ray Standards for Bulk-Explosives Detection, the report shows how "standards, and their underlying measurement technology, create economic value in a myriad of ways."
In partial culmination of several years of effort, a PML team has succeeded in making functioning single-electron devices using Si and SiO2 materials in the NIST nanofabrication facility. (See image at right.)
Making the devices, simply described as nano MOSFETs, required an extraordinarily complicated sequence of multiple layers of gates. The project exploited several important capabilities of the nanofabrication facility, including nanolithography, dry etching, and the ability to deposit and pattern low-defect density materials.
The Si-based devices will be used to implement single-electron based devices for quantum information processing, and advance the prospect of realizing quantum information devices that are directly compatible with current Si-based electronics. At the same time, the devices promise significant advances for single-electron metrology. They exhibit attractive characteristics, including good homogeneity of MOSFET threshold voltage, robustness with respect to electrical damage, and superior Coulomb blockade effects.
The PML team includes Michael "Stew" Stewart Jr, who has recently given talks on the results in Australia, Panu Koppinen, who is preparing a paper for publication, and project leader Neil Zimmerman. The team has benefited substantially from assistance by staff at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST), including Jerry Bowser, Lei Chen, and Vince Luciani.
In February, Michael Moldover and Gregory Strouse of PML’s Sensor Science Division, and Dean Ripple of the Biochemical Science Division in the Material Measurement Laboratory, were awarded a patent (US 8,123,300 B2) for a “dielectric resonator thermometer and a method of using the same.”
Now the researchers are beginning a long-term development effort, and PML has hired Zeeshan Ahmed, an analytical spectroscopist currently serving as an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, to work on the project.
PML Deputy Director James Olthoff (left photo) has received the 2012 Award for Physical Sciences from the Washington Academy of Sciences “for broad contributions to metrology through advancing plasma physics and through management of the NIST Measurement Services Program, the most robust, rigorous and diverse in the world.” This spans his initial research at NBS in developing diagnostics for electrical discharges, including those of interest to the semiconductor industry, to his leadership in coordinating measurement services.
Jeeseong Hwang (Radiation and Biomolecular Physics Division, right photo) received the Academy’s 2012 Award for Biological Sciences “in recognition of contributions to research and service in the field of biomedical optics, specifically in the advancement and validation of advanced microscopic techniques and tissue phantoms for translational and clinical applications.” At NIST, he has advanced novel microscopies for application in the biological sciences, including near-field microscopy and the application of quantum dots for biomedical imaging. He is currently working to improve measurement methods and traceability in optical medical imaging, to make it a more quantitative science.
Michal Chojnacky of the Temperature and Humidity Group from Sensor Science Division did two talks for the first all-online National Immunization Conference on March 26-28: “NIST Case Study of Dual-Zone Unit for Simultaneous Refrigerated and Frozen Vaccine Storage,” and “Data-Logger Thermometers for Continuous Temperature Monitoring of Refrigerated Vaccines.” More than 1,000 people took part from their computers. Dawn Cross gave a presentation from her desk in PML, via computer and phone, to the LTIG EPA Conference on 23 April. (LTIG stands for Laboratory and Technical Information Group, made up of the EPA regional laboratories.) Cross had more than 50 people in the conference room and over 60 people online.
Jennifer Gagner, a 10th-grade student at Winston Churchill High School in Montgomery County, MD who was mentored in PML’s Quantum Optics Group, recently won a second prize in Computer Science and Mathematics at ScienceMONTGOMERY. Now her work at NIST has garnered another honor. The Optical Society of America and the IEEE Photonics Society have chosen her science-fair project, "Modeling Photodiode Detector Non-Uniformity," to receive an Outstanding Achievement in Optics Award at the Annual Student Recognition Awards Banquet on May 15.
Researchers from PML’s Quantum Electronics and Photonics Division are part of a large international collaboration that recently announced the first detection of galaxy-cluster motion based on the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect predicted in 1972 – subtle distortions in the cosmic microwave background due to motion of high-energy electrons. The authors, who include Kent Irwin, Joseph Fowler, Michael Niemack, and Daniel Swetz of the Quantum Devices Group, conclude that the observations represent “the first measurement of the cosmic velocity field made directly with respect to the rest frame of the universe.”
The microwave data were taken with the camera at the Atacama Cosmology Telescope in Chile, which relies on superconducting sensors based on a NIST design and superconducting amplifiers and electronics made at NIST.
Optics Letters has released its list of the top 10 most-cited papers of the past five years. One of them is “Compact, thermal-noise-limited optical cavity for diode laser stabilization at 1 X 10?15” by members of a group at JILA headed by Jun Ye of PML’s Quantum Physics Division. That 2007 paper set a very high standard for laser stability. But now Ye, Michael Martin, and Lisheng Chen of JILA, with collaborators at Germany’s Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, have raised the bar by an order of magnitude, with a monolithic silicon crystal cavity giving a laser stability of 1 x 10-16 at 1 second. The findings are set to be published soon.
The paper “EUV spectral lines of highly-charged Hf, Ta and Au ions observed with an electron beam ion trap” by Ilija Dragani´c, Yuri Ralchenko, Joseph Reader, J.D. Gillaspy, Joseph Tan, Joshua Pomeroy, Samuel Brewer and Dmitry Osin has been named a 2011 Highlight of the Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. This distinction is given to a few papers of “outstanding and excellent” quality published by the journal in 2011.
The article reports on accurate measurements and identifications of more than a 100 new emission wavelengths of highly-ionized atoms of Hf, Ta and Au in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelength range. The measurements were performed on the NIST Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) and are used for the development of fusion energy devices such as the internationally sponsored ITER device in Cadarache, France.
PML physicist and NIST Fellow Joseph Reader (shown at left) has been selected by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to represent the U.S. on the International Fusion Research Council (IFRC) Subcommittee on Atomic and Molecular Data for Fusion.
The Subcommittee meets regularly to advise the IAEA on ways to ensure the availability of adequate atomic and molecular data for the development of fusion energy. The largest international fusion energy program is the development of ITER, to be built in Cadarache, France.
Andras E. Vladar of PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division (shown at right) delivered the keynote presentation titled “Can we get 3D CD Metrology Right?” at the Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography Conference at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography 2012 meeting in San Jose, CA. This presentation pointed out that, for semiconductor manufacturing, optical lithography is printing photoresist features that are significantly smaller than the wavelength of the light used and therefore requires the implementation of optical proximity correction methods.
The presentation proposed the implementation of new NIST-developed methods for 3D metrology that extend to below 10 nanometer-sized structures. Vladar covered key aspects of 3D integrated circuit dimensional metrology, offered physics-based measurement methods, and advocated widespread use of scientific metrology solutions.
John Villarrubia of PML’s Semiconductor and Dimensional Metrology Division recently completed a project with Intel on "VCI Simulation with Semiconductor Device Models." ("VCI" is voltage contrast imaging.) Electron beam (e-beam) inspection tools are used to search for electrical defects in metal-filled contacts in integrated circuits. The contacts electrically connect one layer (e.g., the transistors) with the layer above it through an intervening insulator. Under e-beam exposure, unsuccessful (open circuit) contacts or contacts with too much resistance charge to different potentials than successful ones. Most electrons emitted from the surface are secondary electrons, with kinetic energies below 10 eV. Potential differences of only a few volts can strongly affect the escape probability of these low-energy electrons—hence "voltage contrast imaging." To accommodate this imaging mode, capabilities were added to PML’s JMONSEL (Java Monte Carlo simulator for Secondary Electrons) software. Applications of JMONSEL are expected in the design and interpretation of e-beam tool dimensional calibrations, semiconductor industry critical dimension measurements for process control, and defect inspection.
Following an agency-wide intramural funding competition for proposals directed “toward the identification and/or assessment of the feasibility of using new scientific discoveries (developed at NIST or elsewhere) for criminal justice applications,” two PML groups have been selected for support. One will work on Nuclear Forensic Reference Materials (RM) for Attribution of Urban Nuclear Terrorism, and includes researchers Ken Inn, Jacqueline Mann, Jeffrey Leggitt, Joanne Buscaglia, Simone Jerome, and John Malloy. The other group, whose members include J. Song, J. Yen, T.V. Vorburger, and W. Chu, will begin to establish a “National Ballistics Evidence Search Engine (NBESE) based on 3D topography measurements on correlation cells."
Jennifer Gagner, a 10th-grade student at Winston Churchill High School in Montgomery County, MD who was mentored in PML’s Quantum Measurement Division, won a second prize in Computer Science and Mathematics at ScienceMONTGOMERY, the Montgomery County Maryland science fair. She won $100 and a certificate for her project about modeling photo-diode detector non-uniformities.
Gagner was mentored on her project by Boris Glebov, a guest researcher in the Quantum Optics Group. She also won a certificate and medal in the community awards category, in ScienceMONTGOMERY Awards for Projects in the Senior Division Demonstrating Excellence in Scientific Exposition.
Add to the list of PML’s distinguished young associates Ari Misha Dyckovsky, 18, of Leesburg, VA, a high-school student at the Loudoun County Academy of Science. While working with physicist Steve Olmschenk of the Quantum Measurement Division, he produced a theoretical/computational paper (submitted for publication) about the possibility of using two-photon interference protocols to entangle quantum memories. The results earned him a spot as one of the 40 Intel Science Talent Search finalists.
“Ari has been working with me since January of 2010,” Olmschenk says. “We started with me presenting a ‘crash course’ in quantum physics, and then moved on to work on the photon interference research project. He’s now working with (PML physicist) Trey Porto, (graduate student) Roger Brown, and me in Trey's optical lattice lab, learning the art of being an experimentalist.”
Dyckovsky, a recreational tennis player and a classical guitarist, has participated in several previous science contests, including: the International Space Olympics in 2010 (1st place); the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposia 2011 (2nd place); and the Siemens Competition 2011 (semi-finalist).
In February, 2012, NIST took possession from the contractors of the building that will house the long-awaited, state-of-the-art, precision measurement facility on the Boulder campus. The structure, part of which is shown here, will be dedicated later this year. The laboratory and fabrication capabilities will help NIST better meet the needs of U.S. industry and science in key national priority areas such as nanotechnology, new energy sources, enhanced telecommunications, and radically new information technology such as quantum computers. PML will be the largest single user of the 58,000 square foot facility, an extension to the existing Building 1 which dates from 1954.
On February 19, at the 2012 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, NIST co-organized a symposium with the National Research Council of Canada titled “Updating the International System of Units: The Foundation for Science and Technology.” Seen at the scene, from left: Stephan Schlamminger (PML, Quantum Measurement Division), Vijay Srinivasan (Metrology Division), Charles Clark (PML, Quantum Measurement Division), invited speaker Georgia Harris (PML Lab Office), PML Deputy Director and symposium co-organizer Jim Olthoff, and David Newell (PML Quantum Measurement Division).
A paper by a team from the Quantum Measurement Division is the top item in the Journal of Physics B's annual highlights compendium of work published in 2011 as selected by the journal's editorial and advisory boards. The paper is "EUV spectral lines of highly-charged Hf, Ta and Au ions observed with an electron beam ion trap," by Ilija N Dragani? et al.
The first week in March is Weights and Measures Week, celebrated jointly by NIST and the National Conference of Weights and Measures (NCWM), an organization that includes not only state and local regulators but also regulated industries and consumer interests. The annual event recognizes the many ways that weights and measures contribute to the economy. Activities vary from state to state.
NIST is co-sponsoring the 9th Annual Temperature Symposium in Anaheim, CA, from March 19-23, and PML's Sensor Science Division is providing leadership for the event. Greg Strouse is the General Committee Chair, and Dawn Cross is serving as Conference Secretary. The International Program Committee Chair is Wes Tew, and the Vice Chair is Howard Yoon. Chris Meyer will edit the conference proceedings, which will be published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).
The proceedings for the NIST-sponsored 2011 International Conference on Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics was published in December by the American Institute of Physics (AIP). These hardbound proceedings contain full manuscripts for the poster and oral presentations from the successful conference, which was held last spring at the MINATEC Campus in Grenoble, France. The manuscripts are focused on the frontiers and innovation needed in characterization and metrology. Among the many topics covered were 3D Integration Metrology, Atom Probe Tomography, Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), CD Metrology, Electron Tomography, Ellipsometry, Helium Ion Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Scatterometry, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and X-Ray Diffraction/Reflectometry.
Papers from past proceedings in the conference series have recently become available free-of-charge due to a recent agreement reached between NIST and the AIP. These papers represent over 15 years of outstanding research and overviews of critical topics collected from world-wide experts in the field of semiconductor characterization and metrology. The archived papers are available on-line.
The increasing cost and scarcity of helium-3, used in high-quality neutron detectors for radiation portal monitors and research purposes, has prompted worldwide interest in non-helium technologies. A September 2011 Government Accountability Office assessment of various alternatives cites work from PML's Radiation & Biomolecular Physics Division on "a neutron detector that observes the ultraviolet light emitted by noble gas excimers—molecules in an excited electronic state—that form after boron-10 or lithium-6 absorbs a neutron in a noble gas, such as argon or xenon."
The report notes NIST researchers' conclusion that "after these technologies are explored in laboratory settings, they may become available for integration into neutron detector designs. They could then provide additional options for neutron detector designs and help to further reduce helium-3 demand."
A 2007 paper by Nathan Newbury and William Swann ("Low-noise fiber-laser frequency combs") is among the top five most-cited articles published over the past five years in OSA's Journal of the Optical Society of America B (JOSA B), according to new data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science.
Recently published findings from a collaboration of scientists at PML's Quantum Physics and Electromagnetics divisions, the NSF Engineering Research Center at the University of Colorado, and colleagues in Germany have been highlighted by a Viewpoint feature in Physics, the APS online magazine. In their paper, "Ultrafast Demagnetization Measurements Using Extreme Ultraviolet Light: Comparison of Electronic and Magnetic Contributions," the researchers report progress in measurements of femtomagnetism, which, they explain, "explores how fast magnetic materials can magnetize or demagnetize—timescales that depend on the coupled motions of charges, spins, atoms, and phonons in materials."
Bill Phillips of PML's Quantum Measurement Division continues to dazzle school groups with variations on his popular talk titled "Time, Einstein, and the Coolest Stuff in the Universe." In January, among other venues, he addressed an audience of 1,000 at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC. The presentation was videotaped and will soon be available on NIST's YouTube channel and in DVD form.
Physical Review A’s eye-catching Kaleidoscope feature includes a colorful graphic from a paper by numerous PML authors in the Quantum Measurement Division including Carl Williams, Charles Clark and Eite Tiesinga. The complete set of images from the authors’ Figure 1 is shown below.
An invited review article in the AIP Review of Scientific Instruments on single-photon sources and detectors by Jingyun Fan, Alan Migdall, and Sergey Polyakov of PML's Quantum Measurement Division, and M.D. Eisaman (now in the Sustainable Energy Technologies Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory) has proven persistent popular. Since it was published in July 2011, it has appeared continuously on RSI’s list of the Top 20 downloaded papers since publication, rising to No. 1 in September and still at No. 2 in November.