James A. Barnes

James A. Barnes – Pioneer in the Statistics of Frequency Standards 1933 – 2002

Jim Barnes died Sunday, January 13, 2002 in Boulder, Colorado after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease.

Jim was born in 1933 in Denver, Colorado. He received a Bachelors degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado, a Masters degree from Stanford University, and in 1966 a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Colorado. Jim also received an MBA from the University of Denver.

After graduating from Stanford Jim joined the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Jim was the first Chief of the Time and Frequency Division when it was created in 1967 and set the direction for this division in his 15 years of leadership. During his tenure at NIST Jim made many significant contributions to the development of statistical tools for clocks and frequency standards, Also, three primary frequency standards (NBS 4, 5 and 6) were developed under his leadership. While division chief, closed-captioning was developed (which received an Emmy award) and the speed of light was measured. Jim received the NBS Silver Medal in 1965 and the Gold Medal in 1975. In 1992 Jim received the Rabi Award from the IEEE Frequency Control Symposium and in 1995 the Distinguished PTTI Service Award. Jim was a Fellow of the IEEE. After retiring from NIST in 1982 Jim worked for Austron.

Jim is survived by a brother, three children, and two grandchildren.