Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Jun Ye (Fed)


Jun Ye is a physicist with NIST and JILA, a joint research institute of NIST and the University of Colorado, and professor adjoint of physics at University of Colorado Boulder.

He earned his PhD from University of Colorado Boulder in 1997, where he was trained under future Nobel Laureate Jan Hall, and returned to JILA in 1999 as an Associate Fellow studying interactions of matter and light, specifically ultracold matter of atoms and molecules, their applications for precision measurement and interesting quantum phenomena, and the generation and application of ultrastable lasers and optical frequency combs. He has set multiple records for accuracy and precision in atomic clocks and has made numerous advancements in optical frequency combs and ultrafast laser-based tools. 

Ye is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America as well as a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He has earned numerous awards for his research, most notably a 2003 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering; the 2005 Arthur S. Flemming Award; the 2006 NIST Samuel W. Stratton Award; the 2006 William F. Meggers Award from the Optical Society of America; the 2007 Carl Zeiss Award; five Department of Commerce Gold Medals (in 2001, 2011, 2014,  2019, and 2022); the 2009 European Time and Frequency Forum Award; a 2011 Frew Fellowship; the 2015 Presidential Rank Award; the 2007 Rabi Prize from APS and 2018 Rabi Award from IEEE, the 2019 APS Ramsey Prize; and the Micius Quantum Prize in 2020. In 2022, Clarivate Analytics named Ye a “Highly Cited Researcher” for the ninth year in a row; his work has been cited more than 60,000 times. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) named Ye to the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee in 2020. He shared the 2022 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with Hidetoshi Katori from the University of Tokyo for their work on atomic clocks, and received Vannevar Bush Fellowship, Herbert Walther Award, and Niels Bohr Institute Medal of Honour in the same year.

Ye leads several quantum research initiatives on the CU Boulder campus. They include the CUbit Quantum Initiative and $25-million Quantum Systems through Entangled Science and Engineering (Q-SEnSE) center funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. He also holds four patents based on unique laser technologies.


  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • Fellow, Optical Society of America
  • Member of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, shared with Hidetoshi Katori from the University of Tokyo for their work on atomic clocks (2022)
  • Vannevar Bush Fellowship (2022)
  • Herbert Walther Award (2022)
  • Niels Bohr Institute Medal of Honour (2022)
  • 5 Department of Commerce Gold Medals (2001, 2011, 2014,  2019 and 2022)
  • Micius Quantum Prize (2020)
  • APS Ramsey Prize (2019)
  • Rabi Award, IEEE (2018)
  • Presidential Rank Award (2015)
  • Frew Fellowship (2011)
  • European Time and Frequency Forum Award (2009)
  • Rabi Prize, American Physical Society (2007)
  • Carl Zeiss Award (2007)
  • NIST Samuel W. Stratton Award (2006)
  • William F. Meggers Award, Optical Society of America (2006)
  • Arthur S. Flemming Award (2005)
  • Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (2003)


Optical Atomic Clock aboard an Earth-orbiting Space Station (OACESS): Enhancing searches for physics beyond the standard model in space

Vladimir Schkolnik, Dmitry Budker, Oliver Farttman, Victor Flambaum, Leo Hollberg, Tigran Kalaydzhyan, Shimon Kolkowitz, Markus Krutzik, Andrew Ludlow, Nathan R. Newbury, Christopher Pyrlik, Laura Sinclair, Yevgeny Stadnik, Ingmari Tietje, Jun Ye, Jason Williams
We present a concept for a high-precision optical atomic clock (OAC) operating on an Earth-orbiting space station. This pathfinder science mission will compare
Created October 9, 2019, Updated July 24, 2023