Jim Bergquist photo shoot (@ NIST)

Photo shoot with Jim Berquist who currently works at NIST, but he has also works with a lot of the scientist at JILA. The photo was used for an Alumni Profile article that Julie and I started adding to the JILA Light & Matter publications. Jim is really an interesting and friendly character, and I enjoyed taking pictures of him. I had the opportunity to tour Jim's lab at NIST. I love field trips, but the security at NIST is very tight. We had to be questioned and have my gear checked out before entering the facilities.

Quantum Logic Clock

Looks like I am clock animation guy because NIST came back to me to work on the Quantum Logic Clock. I was asked develop and create an animation that explains how Till Rosenband’s Quantum Logic Clock works. NIST wanted an animation that could be used for the news media that would be easily understood by the public.

This was a very important project both because of the attention the scientific community giving for atomic clocks and establishing stronger co-op on projects with NIST and JILA.

This was a very difficult project mainly because of the organization and the very difficult schedule that Till Rosenband had. I also had to coordinate with the NIST people in Maryland on this project. The inner workings of the clock was very complicated, and I had trouble having people who are actually involved explain to me how it works and what possible ways to visualize this clock. Animation with a lot of specific details is tough because there is only so much screen space to put things. Personally this is one my failed animations as far being simple, clear, and actually makes the concept tangible. Part of the problem was not getting the technical feedback, and having non-science people in charge with dictating visual techniques. The deadline was very quick too, so things had to be done basically the way NIST wanted to be done.

The sad part is that after a week of completing this animation, I designed or figured out an amazing way to re-sequence the animation to be 20 times more effective and clear and visually awesome. I might re-design this animation if I have time, but thats impossible since at JILA I am booked on projects for the next 2 years. !yea! This project did re-enforce one thing for me. Working with busy client(s) who request something without explaining what is actually desired (so its a game of mind reading).

The figures and animations are published on the NIST’s website.