David W Allan – Physicist – Biography



David W. Allan was born in Mapleton, UT, 25 September 1936 and was raised on a farm.  At age 14 he also became a white-water guide, and was the first to run Hell’s Half Mile rapid in Ladore Canyon on the Green River in a kayak.  He served a two year mission for his Church.


David counts family to be the most important unit in time and eternity.  While serving his mission he met Edna Love Ramsay at the Hill Cumorah Pageant in upstate New York.  They were both participants in the Pageant, and David believes the Lord brought them together on this sacred spot, where Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni from which he translated the Book of Mormon.  They were married the following year in the Salt Lake Temple on the 20th of February 1959.

They have been blessed with seven precious children, and they and their spouses, and their children and their spouses, and their children have brought great joy into their lives.  They count their family, friends, and colleagues to be among their choicest blessings in their mortal journey, and they feel the Lord has smiled on them abundantly in this regard.


He obtained a BS in Physics from BYU and an MS in physics from the University of Colorado.  His 1965 master’s thesis gave birth to the Allan variance. He believes the Lord helped him in how it came together to be a significant blessing to the world. http://allanstime.com/AllanVariance/inspiration.htm

His thesis was published the following year in a special issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE on “Frequency Stability.”  The title of his thesis is, The Statistics of Atomic Frequency Standards, and is one of the most cited publications to come out of the Department of Commerce.

Timing System

He later developed the Modified Allan variance and the Time variance, all three of which became international standards.  He later developed the Modified Allan variance and the Time variance, all three of which became international standards.

In 1968, he wrote the time-scale algorithm AT-1 in 1968 for optimally combining clock readings to generate official time for the USA and which with upgrades by colleagues is still “ticking.”

The Italian and Israeli governments invited him to help build their official timing systems.  He was the US representative for the Consultative Committee for the Definition of the Second, which determines world-wide official time at the BIPM in Paris, and helped in the development of international time as well, UTC (Universal Time Coordinated), which used to be called Greenwich Time.  He worked for 32 years at NBS/NIST in Boulder, CO, and after retiring he set up his consulting company, Time Interval Metrology Enterprise (TIME).

Other Scientific Applications

He consulted for Hewlett Packard from 1993 until he and his wife went on a mission for their church to Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, for a year and a half.  He then continued his research on Unified Field Theory and other activities.

He assisted with the following programs: APOLLO, GPS,  http://itsabouttimebook.com/my-involvement-with-gps-development/  NASA/JPL Deep Space Network (DSN), and millisecond pulsar timing.  The Allan variance was the main tool used in assisting these programs, and was specifically used to assure the atomic clocks needed for GPS met specification. The people who developed GPS came to Boulder to attend the seminars that Allan and his colleagues taught on how to best use atomic clocks.  Atomic clocks are the heart of GPS. http://itsabouttimebook.com/how-gps-works/

In 2016 the IEEE celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Allan’s thesis by publishing a special issue with several papers showing its diversity of applications.  An ever increasing and impressively large number of instruments across the globe are programmed to compute these variances developed by Allan for characterizing the performance of precise timing systems, navigation systems, telecommunication systems, and systems in other disciplines as well.


He has several inventions, but the most notable measurement instruments were 1) a dual-mixer time difference (DMTD), which has been well commercialized and is used in timing centers around the world and which can measure the best of atomic clocks; 2) a GPS common-view timing receiver used to synchronize the DSN, millisecond pulsar timing, and to communicate atomic clock times from around the world for the generation of Universal Coordinated Time (UTC); and 3) a special “SmartClock” GPS receiver removing the civil signal degradation to greatly improve timing precision for synchronizing cell-phone towers around the globe – developed and marketed by HP.


He has received many awards, which include: The DoC Silver medal; the second to receive the I.I. Rabi award after Rabi, himself, who was the first one to think about atomic clocks; when nominated for the Department of Commerce Gold medal in physics, the citation read, “He ‘wrote the book’ on the…methods [for characterizing clocks and time and frequency distribution systems] and the statistical variance he introduced is named after him.

Mr. Allan is as well recognized in the field of time and frequency technology as any other figure in the world.”  In 2011, he received “The Time Lord Award” from the International Telecom-Sync Forum in Edinburgh, Scotland; in 2014 he was awarded “the founder of the modern time and frequency measurement statistic” given at the International Symposium on Metrology of Time and Space in Suzdal, Russia; in 2016 the IEEE/UFFC 2016 gave him their highest Achievement Award with the citation: “For seminal work… regarding time determination, time prediction, time dissemination and timekeeping through contributions to atomic frequency standards, space-based navigation, time and frequency stability analysis, time-scale algorithms, and timekeeping devices.”

In 2018 he received the IEEE Keithley Award with the citation: “For leadership in time determination and precise timing instruments.”  Also, in 2018 he was interviewed in his home by the IEEE to document his life and the many contributions he has made to precise timing throughout the world over his nearly six decades in the business.
He is a Fellow in the Institute of Navigation, an IEEE Life Senior Member, and a member of the International Astronomical Union.

Lay Ministry

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has a lay ministry, in addition to serving two full-time missions, he served as the bishop of the newly formed Boulder Second Ward for six years, as Stake President of the Boulder Stake for ten years, and in the Denver Mission Presidency for three years.  After moving back to Utah, he taught institute for the Moroni Stake for eleven years, and he continues to give firesides and talks about his research.


His personal goal is to help make the world be a better place.  He has published well over a hundred scientific papers along with several articles and blogs on his web sites: www.AllansTIME.com and www.ItsAboutTimeBook.com.  His book, It’s About Time, has this same goal. He believes his success is in large measure because he has been able to “stand on the shoulders of giants,” and because of inspiration he has received from on High.


His personal goal is to help make the world be a better place.  He has published well over a hundred scientific papers, chapters in books, and has written a unique book harmonizing science and religion, It’s About Time, www.ItsAboutTimeBook.com .  He has 200 pages of free blog articles on his web site as well as on his www.AllansTIME.com web site, where he describes how he and his family built an all solar home without a furnace in Fountain Green, UT, in 1992, which is at an elevation of 6,000 feet (18 hundred meters elevation with temperatures going down to -30 degrees Celsius).

His book has this same goal. He believes his success is in large measure because he has been able to “stand on the shoulders of giants,” and because of inspiration he has received from on High.  His priorities are God, family, friends, and how he can share LIGHT and TRUTH, which come from God!

He enjoys his precious family and friends; he loves nature — walking with his wife of 60 years, as of 20 February 2019, and riding his mountain bike.  His book is his gospel outreach to the world with over 70 nations visiting the book’s web site with several thousand visits throughout world to this site and rapidly growing across the globe.  The book is designed to help people to know of God’s love, to build faith and to counter the secular encroachment on Christianity.

The information in his book is unique and convincing and has helped many draw closer to the Lord, while dealing with the challenges in this troubled world.  It is a book to help us prepare for the Lord’s coming to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings during his grand millennial epoch.  He believes we live in the most exciting time as we see exciting truths come forth both in science and religion.

Click Here to download David W Allan Bio

Click Here to purchase David W Allan’s book, It’s About Time,