Precision Measurement Grants
Current Awards - 2007
Dallin S. Durfee
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Testing Coulomb's Law with Cold-Ion Matterwave Interferometry
We propose to search for deviations from Coulomb's inverse-square law using a slow-ion
interferometer. Such a deviation is proposed in models of electromagnetism which suppose
a non-zero photon rest mass. Limits on possible deviations have interesting and profound
implications and will lead to a better understanding of physical theories which go beyond
the Standard Model. This measurement will be many orders of magnitude more sensitive that
prior Earth-bound experiments, and will revitalize an important field which has not seen
significant progress over the last three decades. The work will also lead to extremely
sensitive magnetic- and electric-field sensors for fundamental studies and practical
applications and will push forward the field of charged-particle matterwave interferometry.
University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
High Precision Calculations of Transition Frequencies In Three-Electron Atoms
Versus Nuclear Structure
We propose to calculate transition energies, isotope shifts, and hyper-fine splittings,
including higher order relativistic corrections, in three-electron atoms, with sufficient
precision to probe nuclear structure, such as the charge distribution, scalar electric and
vector polarizabilities, and to resolve significant discrepancies between measured and
theoretical values for excited states of the lithium atom.
36 years of Precision Measurement Grant
NIST has awarded Precision Measurement Grants over the past 36 years to promote
fundamental research in measurement science in U.S. colleges and universities.
The grants are awarded for three years, with an initial year funding of $50,000.
The funding may be renewed at $50,000 per year for up to two additional years,
for a total of $150,000, at the discretion of NIST.
Four Grantees win Nobel Prize in Physics
The 2005 award of the Nobel Prize in Physics to Theodor W. Hänsch of the
Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik Garching and
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, along with John L. Hall of NIST at
Boulder, JILA, and the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Roy J. Glauber of
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, brings to four the number of NIST Precision
Measurement Grant awardees who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. Hänsch was
awarded a Precision Measurement Grant in 1974 for work on precision laser
spectroscopy of one-electron atoms. The other Grant recipients who subsequently
won the Nobel prize are Carl E. Wieman of the University of Colorado at Boulder
and JILA, Steven Chu of the University of California at Berkeley and Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory, and Daniel C. Tsui of Princeton University.
- Summary of NIST Precision
[44 kB PDF (Get the Acrobat Viewer)]
- How to apply for a 2008 Grant
(48 kB PDF)