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A Sampling of NIST Boulder 'Firsts'



NIST makes a world-record measurement of the frequency of laser light, leading to a more accurate value for the speed of light and redefinition of the meter.


NIST achieves the first successful demonstration of laser cooling, concurrently with another research group, opening a new field of research on ultracold atoms.


NIST wins an Emmy Award for closed captioning, based on a technique for hiding time codes in TV signals.


NIST scientists working with University of Colorado researchers at JILA create a new form of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate, which led to the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics.


NIST demonstrates a technique enabling frequency combs to directly link optical and radio frequencies, contributing to the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics.


NIST demonstrates the first chip-scale atomic clock and first chip-scale atomic magnetometer, bringing atomic precision to a wide range of compact applications.


NIST scientists at JILA create the first dense gas of ultracold polar molecules, a long-sought milestone with applications in quantum computing, precision measurement and designer chemistry.


NIST ships first programmable 10-volt standard that measures both direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC), extending NIST's 26 years of innovative quantum voltage standards.


NIST's David Wineland shares the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing methods for measuring and manipulating individual quantum systems, the first steps toward quantum computing.



NIST launches the NIST-F2 cesium fountain clock, the world's most accurate time standard, and a NIST scientist at JILA unveils the world's most stable and precise next-generation atomic clock.
Created March 27, 2015, Updated September 21, 2016