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The development of atomic frequency standards at NIST is discussed and three of the key frequency-standard technologies of the current era are described. For each of these technologies, the most recent NIST implementation of the particular type of standard is described in greater detail. The best relative standard uncertainty achieved to date for a NIST(More)
We use femtosecond laser frequency combs to convert optical frequency references to the microwave domain, where we demonstrate the synthesis of 10-GHz signals having a fractional frequency instability of < or =3.5 x 10(-15) at a 1-s averaging time, limited by the optical reference. The residual instability and phase noise of the femtosecond-laser-based(More)
The frequency comb created by a femtosecond mode-locked laser and a microstructured fiber is used to phase coherently measure the frequencies of both the Hg+ and Ca optical standards with respect to the SI second. We find the transition frequencies to be f(Hg) = 1 064 721 609 899 143(10) Hz and f(Ca) = 455 986 240 494 158(26) Hz, respectively. In addition(More)
Time has always had a special status in physics because of its fundamental role in specifying the regularities of nature and because of the extraordinary precision with which it can be measured. This precision enables tests of fundamental physics and cosmology, as well as practical applications such as satellite navigation. Recently, a regime of operation(More)
We present a general technique for precision spectroscopy of atoms that lack suitable transitions for efficient laser cooling, internal state preparation, and detection. In our implementation with trapped atomic ions, an auxiliary "logic" ion provides sympathetic laser cooling, state initialization, and detection for a simultaneously trapped "spectroscopy"(More)
For the past 50 years, atomic standards based on the frequency of the cesium ground-state hyperfine transition have been the most accurate time pieces in the world. We now report a comparison between the cesium fountain standard NIST-F1, which has been evaluated with an inaccuracy of about 4 x 10(-16), and an optical frequency standard based on an(More)
Microwave atomic clocks have been the de facto standards for precision time and frequency metrology over the past 50 years, finding widespread use in basic scientific studies, communications, and navigation. However, with its higher operating frequency, an atomic clock based on an optical transition can be much more stable. We demonstrate an all-optical(More)
After 50 years of development, microwave atomic clocks based on cesium have achieved fractional uncertainties below 1 part in 10(15), a level unequaled in all of metrology. The past 5 years have seen the accelerated development of optical atomic clocks, which may enable even greater improvements in timekeeping. Time and frequency standards with various(More)
We present an optical cavity design that is insensitive to both vibrations and orientation. The design is based on a spherical cavity spacer that is held rigidly at two points on a diameter of the sphere. Coupling of the support forces to the cavity length is reduced by holding the sphere at a "squeeze insensitive angle" with respect to the optical axis.(More)
We report tests of local position invariance and the variation of fundamental constants from measurements of the frequency ratio of the 282-nm 199Hg+ optical clock transition to the ground state hyperfine splitting in 133Cs. Analysis of the frequency ratio of the two clocks, extending over 6 yr at NIST, is used to place a limit on its fractional variation(More)