[time-nuts] [Fwd: More on Len Cutler]
John Ackermann N8UR
jra at febo.com
Thu Sep 14 12:59:46 EDT 2006
Thought this would be of interest to the group...
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: More on Len Cutler
Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 10:45:33 -0600
From: <tom_holmes at agilent.com>
To: <jra at febo.com>
Len Cutler Leaves a Lasting Legacy
Agilent mourns the loss of Len Cutler, Agilent Distinguished Fellow and
member of the technical staff in Precision Instrumentation at Agilent
Laboratories. After a career of 57 years, Len passed away Sept. 4 while
camping with his family in Big Basin, California. He was an
internationally recognized inventor who made significant contributions
to the worlds of science and technology, particularly in precision time
measurement and laser interferometry.
In 2004, Agilent Laboratories promoted Len to Agilent Distinguished
Fellow in recognition of his long-standing and far-reaching
contributions that have had, and will have, an enduring impact on the
company. Len was the first and only person to hold this position,
Agilent's highest technical honor.
"We honor Len for leaving a lasting legacy, and acknowledge his
leadership as an innovator and researcher at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent
for almost 50 years," said Darlene Solomon, chief technology officer and
vice president Agilent Laboratories. "Len set the standard for world
class research; he served as a mentor to so many of our engineers and
scientists at Agilent Labs, and remarkably, continued as an active
contributor to our research program until his passing. We have lost a
great man, a brilliant researcher, a wise leader and a good friend."
Len has been aptly named "Father Time." Over the past 40 years, his
innovations and inventions have led to the world's most accurate
commercial time keeping devices, beginning with the first solid-state
atomic clock in 1964, and leading up to the Hewlett-Packard 5071A cesium
clock, introduced in 1992, with an accuracy of one second in every 1.6
million years. Clocks designed by Len form the cornerstone of the time
standard maintained by laboratories throughout the world. His clocks
were the first to be flown in airplanes to perform the synchronization
of world clocks and later to establish the variations in the flow of
time predicted by Albert Einstein. The impact of this work is crucial to
modern commerce. Without accurate time keeping, there would be no GPS
navigation, modern computer networks would no longer function, and
financial transactions would grind to a halt.
Lyons and Sherwood built the first atomic clock in the 1950's at the
National Bureau of Standards based on theoretical work by Maxwell and
Rabi. Pioneering work by Townes, Zacharias, Essen, and Ramsey then led
to the first cesium beam clock. Len Cutler began his work on atomic
clocks at Hewlett-Packard in 1959, introducing the first solid state
cesium beam clock in 1964. The performance and reliability of these
clocks were much better than anything previously available, so they
rapidly captured the market and became widely used throughout the world
in applications demanding the precise frequency and time standards.
Over the years, Len and his team made many improvements and innovations
resulting in steady improvements in performance. These innovations
include both fundamentally new techniques, like trapped ion frequency
standards, and optically pumped atomic clocks, as well as many
contributions to the optimization and theoretical understanding of the
His work on clocks is only the best-known example of Len's innovations.
He has authored a total of 25 patents in many areas of science and
technology. Perhaps his most important invention is his method for the
precise measurement of distance using a two-frequency laser
interferometer system. This invention is the crucial element in the
step-and-repeat lithography systems used for the manufacturing of
silicon integrated circuits, in which nanometer resolution is required.
Len's reputation for innovation resulted in his consultation on the
high-visibility failure of one of the nation's premier high-technology
rapid transit systems in the early 1970's. After a serious accident on
BART, he and his colleagues were quickly able to invent a patented logic
safety system to prevent future incidents.
In addition to his scientific and technical contributions, Len was one
of the founders of Hewlett-Packard Laboratories and was the leader and
mentor of several generations of researchers in that lab and its
successor, Agilent Laboratories. All who know him agree that Len was
among the most brilliant people they have ever met. Without question,
Len Cutler was one of industry's greatest innovators whose inventions
touch all of our lives.
Tom Holmes, N8ZM
RF/Microwave Applications Engineer
toll free: 877-470-6124
e-mail: tom_holmes at agilent.com
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