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Maintaining Time: NIST's Quest for Precise Timekeeping

Maintaining Time: NIST's Quest for Precise Timekeeping Online

Thursday, May 16, 2024
11:00am - 12:00pm Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
This is an online event. Event URL will be sent via registration email.
All Department of Commerce Staff

Join us for an enlightening presentation by Dr. Jeff A. Sherman, Supervisory Physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Time Realization and Distribution Group.

Dr. Sherman unveils the best recipe for measuring time using NIST’s ensemble of atomic clocks, which together define an official source of time and rate in the United States. These precision instruments distribute time signals nationwide via radio stations and the internet, handling a staggering 100 billion requests daily.

Learn how atomic clocks and frequency references underpin technologies like global positioning, telecommunications, and almost all dimensional metrology. They enable a wide array of scientific studies, including very-long baseline interferometry and fundamental tests of physics. New atomic frequency references based on optical transitions are comparable with uncertainty below that of practical realizations of the SI second, a source of tension that now motivates a campaign to redefine the SI second itself.

We eagerly anticipate your presence at an event where time is of the essence!

About Dr. Sherman: Born and raised in Las Vegas, NV as the son of an English/drama teacher and jazz musician, it isn't totally clear how Jeff Sherman became a scientist. Jeff now leads the NIST group, which maintains and improves systems to produce and distribute official U.S. time, time-interval, and frequency signals based on an ensemble of atomic clocks and frequency references. After undergraduate studies in physics at the University of Texas, Jeff’s research centered around high-precision measurements in optical-atomic systems and includes a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Washington (2007), postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford, and a National Research Council associateship at NIST. To read more about Dr. Sherman, please see his full biography.

About Around the Bureaus: This series showcases the diverse work of Department of Commerce employees, breaks down silos, and encourages cross-bureau collaboration. If you would like to participate in a future presentation, please reach out to the library for more information.

Registration has closed.

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Lobby. You will be admitted from the Lobby once the program begins.

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For accommodation requests, including sign language interpreting, please email us at research@doc.gov.