This Just In! (Archives)
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An Eagle Has Landed
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.
Conference Gathers Industry, Academia, and Government Leaders to Discuss Future Manufacturing of Semiconductors
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.
“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."
Fusion in Vienna
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.
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 Tracker Update
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.
Silver, Barnes Honored by Intel
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.”
Women of NIST
"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 Olson 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. “Betsy” 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."
Taking the Air
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.
PML Sweeps Physics Posters
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.)
Deuterium at NBS
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.
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.
Taking a Spin in Nature
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."
First the News, Then the Views
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."
Passage to 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.
No Place Like Home
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.”
It's About Time
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.
Attention, Early Birds
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.
Beating the Limit
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.”
Voted Most Popular
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.”
Digital Thermometer Standards
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.”
Out and About
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.”
Spielman Elected APS Fellow
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.
PML Makes Physics World's Top Ten
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.
PASS Test Methods Adopted
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.
PML to the RescueGeorgia Harris, Val Miller, and Elizabeth Gentry of the Office of Weights and Measures recently got a note from Marc H. Paquette, a Weights and Measures Specialist with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. Paquette wanted to inform the group that he had just received the state of Vermont's Weights and Measures Metrology Laboratory Certificate of Traceability.
“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.”
NIST's Role in Solid State Lighting
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!”
Around the Lab
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.
IEEE Elevates Remley to Fellow, Honors Martzloff for Lifetime Achievement
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.
PML Physicists Spur Creation of New APS Section
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.
PML Work Highlighted in Nature
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.
Giving Patients Their Best Shot
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.”
Nanopores Are Getting Bigger
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.
Ionizing Radiation and Commerce
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 Honored in Gallery
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.
Quantum Foundations Symposium
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.
Physics Today Next Month
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.
Toward Carbon-based Nanomanufacturing
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.
Outreach Effort Proves Very Cool
“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.”
Metrology at Home and Abroad
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).
Another State Measures Up
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.
Molecular Spectroscopy Award
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.
Hands Across the Hemisphere
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.
Three from OWM Honored
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.
Aging Gracefully Dept.
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.
Postdoc Poster Presentation Picks
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 Novel Workshop
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.
Vacuum Society Meeting
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).
One Show Only
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.
Workshops and Work Products
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.
Busy Meeting But No Pressure
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.
Security Pays Off
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."
Si Single-Electron Devices Move to the Fab Fore
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.
Washington Academy Honors Olthoff, Hwang
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.
T&H Gets Hot
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.
Experimentoring -- The Sequel
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.
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.