JILA History

JILA: The First 50 Years
JILA: The First 50 Years

JILA began as a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (then known as the National Bureau of Standards) in 1962. At that time, the study of laboratory astrophysics was a new concept. Now, over fifty years later, JILA studies a broad section of physics including Quantum Information Science & Technology, Atomic & Molecular Physics, Astrophysics, Laser Physics, Biophysics, Chemical Physics, Nanoscience and Precision Measurement. JILA's Fellows are regularly awarded the top prizes in the field of science.

To learn more about JILA's history and how JILA grew from the initial concept, to today, you might enjoy downloading the PDF version of our 50th anniversary book, JILA: The First 50 Years.


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Photograph of Poorman Relief mine experiment, circa 1962.

John Ward listens for signals inside the Poorman Relief mine which was used briefly in 1961 - 1962 to house a giant interferometer.

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