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Taking Measure

Just a Standard Blog

Chris Oates

Time and Frequency division chief Chris Oates

After earning a bachelor's in physics at Stanford, Chris spent two years with Peace Corps on a small Caribbean island where he taught physics and math in a rural high school surrounded by nutmeg and banana trees.  He then began research in Jan Hall’s lab at JILA for his Ph.D. research, where he was involved in some of the early precision optical measurements with trapped neutral atoms.  Next, he joined Leo Hollberg’s Group in the Time and Frequency Division, where he began developing neutral atom clocks based on optical transitions.  He was the leader of the Optical Frequency Measurements Group from 2008-2016 and has spent the past two years as chief of the Time and Frequency Division. Outside of work Chris likes to study languages, travel (especially Italy), read (novels, behavioral economics), bake cookies, grow tomatoes, bodysurf (not in Colorado!), listen to 80's music, and hang out with his teenage boys.

What, Then, Is Time?

When asked to contribute an essay on some aspect of timekeeping, I had a flashback to the first day of my senior year in high school in Princeton, New Jersey