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Physics research at NIST includes everything from improving the safety of medical radiation procedures to developing future "quantum information" technologies that generate unbreakable codes. NIST provides the measurements, standards, and technical expertise scientists and industries need to push the limits of the fundamental properties of nature.

The Research

Projects & Programs

Yb Lattice Clock

Our Group is developing high stability, high accuracy optical atomic clocks based on thousands of Yb atoms confined to an optical lattice. Such clocks will find

Additional Resources Links


NIST physicist Elizabeth Donley and Compact Atomic Clock

Keeping Time at NIST

Einstein is reported to have once said that time is what a clock measures. Some say that what we experience as time is really our experience of the phenomenon of entropy, the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy, loosely explained, is the tendency for things to become disorganized. Hot coffee always goes cold. It never reheats itself. Eggs don’t unscramble themselves. Your room gets messy and you
Row of five purple spheres, each held top and bottom by tips of long green probes, on black background.

JILA’s Bigger and Better ‘Tweezer Clock’ Is Super Stable

Orange horizontal shapes on a purple background

JILA’s Electric ‘Knob’ Tunes Chemical Reaction Rates in Quantum Gas

Grid shows two peaks, with the left one taller than the right.

New JILA Tools ‘Turn On’ Quantum Gases of Ultracold Molecules

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