Dr. Tara Fortier is a group leader in the Time and Frequency Division. She leads a research group that performs both basic and applied research in the areas of precision optical and microwave metrology, as well as in laser source development. Her work focusses on utilizing phase stabilized modelocked lasers for the synthesis of highly stable optical and microwave signals from atomic and optical references. Her research efforts support the mission of the Time and Frequency division by providing the infrastructure for optical atomic calibration of NIST’s microwave timescale via synthesis and dissemination of low-noise and agile microwave signals, contributions of secondary time standards to international atomic time (TAI), and via the comparison of atomic clocks. The latter comparisons help to support international efforts toward redefinition of the SI second to optical atomic time. Additionally, atomic clock comparisons enable search for physics beyond the standard model, including tests of local position invariance, searches for time variation of fundamental constants, and provide constraints on the coupling of ultra-light dark matter to “normal” matter via the fine structure constant.
Dr. Fortier also serves NIST and the broader optics, physics and time/frequency community as a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society (APS), and as an executive board member to the APS-Division of Laser Science, the NIST Women in STEM group, and the American Institute of Physics APL Photonics Journal. Dr. Fortier also serves as a NIST representative to the Inter-Agency Working Group on Quantum Workforce Development (under the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.) She is strongly committed and active in supporting DEI&A efforts via development of inclusive organizational policies within NIST, at international conferences and within professional societies, and via personal and professional efforts towards outreach and mentorship.