David W. Allan

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David Wayne Allan
David W. Allan, cropped.jpg
Allen in August 2014
Born (1936-09-25) September 25, 1936 (age 81)
Mapleton, Utah, United States
Nationality United States
Known for Allan variance
Scientific career
Fields Physics
Institutions National Institute of Standards and Technology

David W. Allan (born September 25, 1936, Mapleton, Utah)[3] 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.[2] He worked for the National Bureau of Standards in Colorado.[4]

Allan studied physics at the Brigham Young University (B.S. 1960) and at the University of Colorado (M.S. 1965).[3] 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.[3] He retired in 1992 and lives in Fountain Green, Utah.[3]

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.[3]

Allan is a Latter-day Saint.[4] He has been married since 1959 and has seven children.[3]


Allan received the Rabi Award of the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Society in 1984.[1] He received the Silver Medal of the Department of Commerce (1968) and the IR-100 Award (1976).[3] In 1999 he was named an honorary fellow by the Institute of Navigation.[4]


  1. ^ a b "IEEE UFFC - Frequency Control - Awards - Rabi Award". Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "2011 - David Allan". International Timing & Sync Forum. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Thomson, Gale (2004). "American Men and Women of Science". The American Ornithologists' Union. 
  4. ^ a b c "Portraits - Ensign Jan. 2000 - ensign". Retrieved 24 November 2016. 

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