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David W. Allan

David W. Allan

David W. Allan
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Physicist
Is Scientist Physicist
From United States of America
Type Science
Gender male
Birth 25 September 1936, Mapleton, Utah County, Utah, USA
Age 85 years
Star sign Libra
Brigham Young University
University of Colorado
The details (from wikipedia)


David Wayne Allan (born September 25, 1936, Mapleton, Utah) is an American atomic clock physicist and author of the Allan variance, also known as the two-sample variance, a measure of frequency stability in clocks, oscillators and other applications. He worked for the National Bureau of Standards in Colorado.

From 1960, he was a physicist in the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (then the National Bureau of Standards) in Boulder, and from 1979 was 1988 chief of the Time and Frequency Coordination Group. He retired in 1992 and lives in Fountain Green, Utah.

In 1982, Allan was a guest scientist in the People's Republic of China and in 1981 a consultant for the United Nations Development Program in New Delhi.


Allan obtained his Bachelor of Science in Physics at Brigham Young University in 1960. In 1965, he completed his Master of Science in Physics from the University of Colorado.


Allan received the Silver Medal of the Department of Commerce in 1968, and one of the IR-100 awards of Industrial Research magazine in 1976. He received the Rabi Award of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society in 1984. In 1999, he was named an honorary fellow by the Institute of Navigation. Allan also received the Time Lord Award from the International Timing & Sync Forum in 2011, for "...'[writing] the book' on the methods for characterising clocks and time and frequency distribution systems". Most recently, he received the IEEE Keithley Award, for "outstanding contributions in electrical measurements", in 2018.

Selected publications


  • It's About Time: Science Harmonized with Religion. Digital Legend Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-937735-75-3.

Academic papers

  • D.W. Allan, Statistics of Atomic Frequency Standard, Proceedings of the IEEE, 54, No. 2, 221-231, 1966. (BIN: 7)
  • D.W. Allan, L. Fey, H.E. Machlan, and J.A. Barnes, An Ultra-Precise Time Synchronization System Designed by Computer Simulation, Frequency, 1-5, 1968. (BIN: 180)
  • D.W. Allan, S. Leschiutta, and G. Rovera, TV Frame Pulses Used for Precision Time Synchronization and Their Noise Distribution, Alta Frequencza 39, 180, 1970. (BIN: 18)
  • D.W. Allan, B.E. Blair, D.D. Davis, and H.E. Machlan, Precision and Accuracy of Remote Synchronization Via Portable Clocks, Loran-C, and Network Television Broadcasts, Metrologia, 8, 64-73, 1972. (BIN: 37)
  • D.W. Allan, J.E. Gray, and H.E. Machlan, The National Bureau of Standards Atomic Time Scales: Generation, Dissemination, Stability, and Accuracy, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, IM-21, No. 4, 388-391, 1972. (BIN: 45)
  • D.W. Allan, J.H. Shoaf, and D. Halford, Statistics of Time and Frequency Data Analysis, Chapter 8, from Characterization of Frequency Stability, IEEE Trans. on Instrumentation and Measurement, 151-204, 1973. (BIN: 771)
  • D.W. Allan, J.E. Gray, and H.E. Machlan, The National Bureau of Standards Atomic Time Scale: Generation, Stability, Accuracy and Accessibility, NBS Monograph 140, Time and Frequency: Theory and Fundamentals, 205-231, 1974. (BIN: 194)
  • D.W. Allan, H. Hellwig, and D.J. Glaze, An Accuracy Algorithm for an Atomic Time Scale, Metrologia, 11, 133-138, 1975. (BIN: 69)
  • D.W. Allan, The Measurement of Frequency and Frequency Stability of Precision Oscillators, NBS Technical Note 669, 1-27, 1975. (BIN: 474)
  • D.W. Allan, Report on NBS Dual Mixer Time Difference System (DMTD) Built for Time-Domain Measurements Associated with Phase 1 of GPS, NBSIR 75-827, 1-18, 1976. (BIN: 84)
  • D.W. Allan and F.H. Brzoticky, Calibration of Police Radar Instruments, Reprinted from NBS Special Publication 442, 42-47, 1976. (BIN: 87)
  • D.W. Allan, Some Methods of Maintaining and/or Generating Time and Frequency at Arbitrary Points on Surface of the Earth, Journal of the Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers, 27, No. 10, 383-388, 1981. (BIN: 502)
  • D.W. Allan, C.O. Alley, N. Ashby, R. Decher, R.F.C. Vessot and G.M.R. Winkler, Ultra-Accurate International Time and Frequency Comparison Via an Orbiting Hydrogen-Maser Clock, Journal De Physique, Colloque C8, 395-413, 1981. (BIN: 589)
  • D.W. Allan, C.O. Alley, Jr., R.Decher, R.F.C. Vessot and G. Winkler, Shuttle Experiment to Demonstrate High-Accuracy Global Time and Frequency Transfer, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, GE-20, No. 3, 321-325, 1982. (BIN: 606)
  • D.W. Allan, Pulsar Clock, Letters to the Editor, SCIENCE, 220, 776, 1984. (BIN: 661)
  • D.W. Allan, Frequency and Time Coordination, Comparison, and Dissemination, "Precision Frequency Control", Ed. E.A. Gerber and A. Ballato (Academic Press, New York, 1985) pp. 233-273., 2, 233-273, 1985. (BIN: 619)
  • D.W. Allan, D.D. Davis, M. Weiss, A. Clements, B. Guinot, M. Granveaud, K. Dorenwendt, B. Fischer, P. Hetzel, S. Aoki, M.-K. Fujimoto, L. Charron, and N. Ashby, Accuracy of International Time and Frequency Comparisons Via Global Positioning System Satellites in Common-View, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, IM-34, No. 2, 118-125, 1985. (BIN: 689)
  • D.W. Allan, M.A. Weiss, and N. Ashby, Around-the-World Relativistic Sagnac Experiment, SCIENCE, 228, 69-70, 1985. (BIN: 711)
  • D.W. Allan, Should the Classical Variance Be Used as a Basic Measure in Standards Metrology?, IEEE Trans. on Instrumentation and Measurement, IM-36, 646-654, 1987. (BIN: 776)
  • D.W. Allan, Time and Frequency (Time-Domain) Characterization, Estimation, and Prediction of Precision Clocks and Oscillators, IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, UFFC-34, 647-654, 1987. (BIN: 752)
  • D.W. Allan, M.A. Weiss and T.K. Peppler, In Search of the Best Clock, IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement, 38, 624-630, 1989. (BIN: 815)
  • D.W. Allan, C. Thomas; International Report: Technical Directives for Standardization of GPS Time Receiver Software to be implemented for improving the accuracy of GPS common-view time transfer; Metrologia, 1994, 31, n°1, 69-79.
  • D.W. Allan, Neil Ashby, Cliff Hodge; Science of Timekeeping; Hewlett-Packard Application Note 1289; 1997.
  • D.W. Allan, Neil Ashby, Cliff Hodge; Fine-tuning Time in the Space Age; IEEE Spectrum magazine, March 1998, pp 42-51.
  • D.W. Allan; New Timing Opportunities with GPS; GPS Solutions magazine; Vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 1998, pp 27-35.
  • D.W. Allan, Neil Ashby, Cliff Hodge; A Brief History of Precise Time and GPS; Special Supplemental addition of GPS World; Aug. (with November reprint summary) 1998.
  • D.W. Allan, Neil Ashby, Gus R. German; A New Paradigm for High Accuracy Orbit Determination at the Centimeter Level; ION GPS 2001.

Personal Life

Allan is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been married to Edna Love Ramsay since 1959.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 04 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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