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Time & frequency

Time and frequency activities at NIST include maintaining standards, providing official time to the U.S., and carrying out a broad program of research and service activities in time and frequency metrology.

NIST and the Nobel: Dave Wineland

headshot of Dave Wineland
Credit: Burrus/NIST
NIST physicist David J. Wineland received the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."

In a closely related line of research, Wineland and the members of his laboratory group have used laser-cooled ions to build new, ultra-precise atomic clocks, several of which have held the world record for accuracy. Laser-cooled clocks now set primary time and frequency standards around the world.  

Learn more about Dave and his Nobel Prize-winning research on our NIST and the Nobel site.

News and Updates

Events

Industry Impacts

Time and Synchronization

In our increasingly connected modern economy, the IT services we rely on are built on the synchronization of clocks. For many functions, devices must agree on

Navigation through Timekeeping

Accurate navigation requires precision timing synchronization to about 1 billionth of a second per day. New applications require timing mechanisms that can

Projects and Programs

Publications

Femtosecond Time Synchronization of Optical Clocks Off a Flying Quadcopter

Author(s)
Hugo Bergeron, Laura C. Sinclair, William C. Swann, Isaac H. Khader, Kevin C. Cossel, Michael A. Cermak, Jean-Daniel Deschenes, Nathan R. Newbury
Optical clock networks promise advances in global navigation, time distribution, coherent sensing, relativity experiments, dark matter searches and other areas1

Software

Awards

2019 PECASE - Franklyn Quinlan

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to...

2019 PECASE - Laura Sinclair

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to...

2018 I.I. Rabi Award - Jun Ye

The Rabi Award is to recognize outstanding contributions related to the fields of atomic and molecular frequency standards, and time...

2018 IEEE Fellow - David A. Howe

The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of...