Category Archives: Science

GPS Moving Forward To Zion

My experience with GPS is a fascinating one.  I spent many man-years helping in the development of GPS – working with Brad Parkinson, who I consider to be the father of GPS.   He was both a colonel in the Air Force, but also got his Ph.D. at Stanford University graduating in 1966, with a degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Colonel Parkinson and  his Air Force blue suiters came to our seminars in Boulder, CO, to learn how to best use atomic clocks.  Atomic clocks are the heart of GPS.  The signals from the satellite constellation  need to be synchronized to about a billionth of a second (a nanosecond) for GPS to meet its navigation goals.  In 2018 Brad received the IEEE Medal of Honor Award for his leadership in developing GPS.  I congratulated him at the time and offered him a copy of my book.  He said he already had a copy.

When I published by book in 2014, part of it was a special letter to the GPS Headquarters folks suggesting four things that could help improve the system.  Ironically, I heard nothing back from them until last week (six years later).

IEEE Nomination

This recent interaction with them occurred because of a series of events in which the IEEE’s previous president, John Vig, recently nominated me to be an IEEE Fellow, and I needed five people to be part of the nomination process.  I asked Brad, and he agreed to do so.  This opened up an e-mail dialog coming back to my letter of six years ago.  They have a GPS Phase III planning meeting coming up and will consider what I have shared.  It will be interesting to see where it goes.

I love how the Lord is in the details of our lives, and He sees the end from the beginning.  Because of His infinite love, He orchestrates events to best help us find our way back to Him and helping us better live our lives and how to serve – never violating our free choice (agency).  He sees us from pre-mortal to where we can go in eternal realms of glory, and lovingly wants the best for us.  I see this GPS interaction event as just another means leading me to better ways to share His glorious gospel message.

The IEEE is the biggest technology institution, and has the largest scientific papers data base.  As our really good friend, BYU Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Chauncey Riddle, taught me, technology has advanced society further along than has science – though most scientists would have you believe otherwise.  GPS, cell phones and the internet are three great examples of technology advancement.  With over 400 thousand members in 120 different countries, and with its 41 different societies the IEEE is the greatest organization on the planet for promoting technology.  I was pleased that Dr. Donley, representing the IEEE/UFFC, came to our home in November 2018 and spent two days recording my ORAL HISTORY, which they put up on their web site, and gave me opportunity to share my testimony.

This Is My Joy

In those six years, I have overcome some major health challenges: quadruple by-pass open heart surgery, three strokes, serious blood clots in my legs and lungs.  But in that time, I have enjoyed miraculous healings and learned some extremely important lessons from the Lord about who I am and how I can best serve His children.  “This is my joy.” (Alma 26:37; 29:9) Indeed, these challenges have been a “trial of my faith,” (Ether 12:6-7) but it is in that process we grow closer to Him.  As we use our time and talents with an eye single to His glory, joy will come to our souls.  The above is case in point for me.  And know that the Lord’s healings in my life have me back on my mountain bike, and I rode to the Post several times last week in the snow!

We live in the most exciting time in history.  GPS will continue to improve its timing, navigation and position accuracy, but know there is a better navigator and that is the Lord. We may not know in detail what the future holds, but we know who holds the future, and to be in step with Him is the greatest opportunity of our existence.  We know a Zion (the pure in heart) society is coming that the Bride may meet the Bridegroom in great rejoicing, and the exciting thing is we can be part of it if we will truly come unto Him.  He will navigate us HOME!

David W Allan

Evolution And Faith

Faith or Evolution BYU Studies are soliciting ABSTRACTS for a special issue on EVOLUTION AND FAITH, which will come out next year. (An abstract is a brief summery of research on a particular subject.)

Since BYU just installed a permanent display of the evolution of humankind in their Bean Museum and because  the theory of evolution is taught at BYU as the primary inception of mankind, a dear friend of mine suggested I submit an abstract for this special issue.  I have great respect for him. He taught for the Church Education System, was in the Stake Presidency with me, was a Mission President, and an executive secretary for a General Authority.  At his suggestion, I have prepared the following abstract.

My Expertise

My expertise is precise timing – having helped with the development of GPS and official atomic time for the USA and the world.  I have witnessed a billion-fold improvement in the accuracy and stability of timekeeping, as the world moved from astronomical time to atomic time starting in 1967 with the redefinition of the “second” in terms of the Cs-133 hyperfine quantum transition.

My ORAL HISTORY has been recorded by the IEEE.1 (The IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.) For this Abstract, I have applied my scientific background as a time metrologist to the theory of evolution.

The Theory of Organic Evolution

Every scientist knows a theory or hypothesis cannot be proven true.  Data consistency does not prove it true.  But a theory or hypothesis can be proven false, if reliable falsification data exist.  This falsification standard is very powerful in determining the TRUTH, since it does provide proof of what is not true.  This gauge can be applied to Darwin’s theory of organic evolution.
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The Resurrection Disproves the Theory of Organic Evolution

I Am a Unique Scientist in Many Ways, and I Do Not Support the Evolution Theory.

I appeal to logic, reason, reliable data, and what we can KNOW!  Most of the world believes in organic evolution – along with a large percentage of Christians — and the internet is full of information in support of this theory.

My Science Background

To give background for how I provide proof that the resurrection falsifies Darwin’s theory, I share the following.  I have been studying the sciences and how nature works for 68 years, but the most important truth I have learned is that God is the Master Scientist. I am known by many of my colleagues as the “Praying Physicist.”
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What Time Is It?

How many times have you asked, “What time is it?”

Einstein is reported as saying, “If you ask me what time it is, I will tell you, but if you ask me what is time, I cannot!”  If he didn’t say it, he should have!

Time, as we think of it flowing throughout the universe is a metaphysical concept – abstract – an idea in our minds.

Some Fun With Time and Some Mind Benders

  1. Doc says, “Joe, I got some bad news for you. You’ve got six months to live.” Joe says, “Six months? Doc, I can’t pay your bill in six months, I can’t do it!” Doc says, “OK, I give you a year…”
  2. Chinese kid was born before the due date. Parents named him Sudden Lee.
    Did you hear about that guy who fell into the infinity pool? Yeah… it took him forever to get out.
  3. The future, the present and the past were arrested and sentenced, and things got tense.
  4. Moses had the first tablet that could connect to the cloud.
  5. Why do the French eat snails? They don’t like fast food.
  6. Here is one for you; a twelve hour stopped clock is perfect twice a day!  And if you could make it go backwards infinitely fast, it would always read the correct time!
  7. True story: I noticed by smart phone was receiving responses to my text messages 4 minutes before I sent them out.  Being a time guy, I asked, “How could this be?”  My wife and I got a good laugh about why this might be: “mind readers!”  I discovered my phone was in manual mode and had gained 4 minutes since I bought it over a year ago.  I fixed it!  Cell towers are synchronized to GPS, so now I am with you; not a head of you!
  8. Another true story: My wife and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary in Guam on the 20th of February, 1981.  I had been invited to give a talk in New Delhi about precise time and frequency distribution systems; the UN had paid for my ticket, and I obtained a $50 coupon to buy a second ticket for Edna.  So we arranged that after the conference, we would travel on to Guam to celebrate the 20th; we had a great time in Guam.  We got on the plane that evening and arrived in Hawaii the next morning, and it was the 20th of February all over again.  Two anniversaries in a row; can’t beat that.  Who but a time-nut would have planned that so?  A little time warp due to our spinning earth and our mixed up timing system.  I have a solution for that in my book: It’s About Time.

What is TIME?

Man’s time is not time; it is time-interval – the accumulation of time-intervals, like a second, a minute, an hour, a season, a calendar, a span from some origin or point in time (like the birth of Christ). We measure time in our minds.  A lot of people think time seems to be going faster.

For example, time can feel slow or “stand still” when you are waiting for a loved one to come out of surgery or when you are waiting for a response after a job interview.  Days can seem long when you are lonely or sad.

On the other hand, we seem to lose track of time when we are busy. “Time flies” when you are having fun, actively engaged in an event or circumstance that is fulfilling or when you are happy.  Vacations seem all too short.

Time seems to collapse (time warp) when you meet an old friend that you have not seen in 25 years. You may feel like it was just yesterday that you were together.

Nothing demonstrates the flawed notion of time better than aging. A young person may think that 30 is over the hill. A 50 year old may feel am 80 year old is ready to die.  And a 70 year old looks in the mirror and can’t believe what they see because inside they feel like a 20 year old.  I am 82 years young, and feel a lot of life is ahead of me — its exciting!

Making some sense of “Time” on this planet

One of the best definition of time that I know of is from my good friend, Prof. Chauncey Riddle, “Time seems to be the possibility of change.”

The Allan variance is the optimum estimator of change in the rate of an ideal atomic clock.  We cannot measure time, since it is metaphysical, but we can measure time interval more precisely than anything else.

The four dimensions of Einstein’s theory (space and time) are mortal constraints.  Einstein includes man’s time in his relativity equations, and his theory makes GPS work as well as it does.  We contracted with Professor Neil Ashby to develop the relativity equations for GPS.

We also have done a Unified Field Theory experiment showing evidence of a fifth dimension, which we call the eternity domain.  Man’s time is not a constraint in this domain, and this is where God and His angels do their work, and it is where we couple when we pray. The infinite atonement of our Lord and Savior is operative from this eternity domain and covers us in our mortal journey.

God’s Time is Eternal

Remember, God is without constraint. God’s time is eternal. It has no beginning and no end.  God’s TIME has its full purpose in bringing “to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  (Moses 1:39)  Christ overcame death and hell – providing resurrection for all and eternal life – life with God and life like God – for all who will believe in Him and accept of His glorious gospel message.  How blessed we are to have the fullness thereof.  Let us live it and share it making the best use of time that we may enjoy eternity.

David W. Allan



























Synchronizing Deep Space Network

How GPS helped NASA/JPL synchronize their Deep Space Network tracking stations and my personal involvement in that process.

I just learned of the passing of a friend and colleague from Boulder, Dick Davis.  Dick was an amazing electrical engineer, and he was part of the team that developed TV captioning – earning them an EMMY AWARD.  Later on he was part of my time and frequency dissemination research team.

I had listened to a JPL talk at the Frequency Control Symposium in Atlantic City, NJ, on how they synchronized the Deep Space Network using quasar signals and hydrogen maser atomic clocks. The DSN locations were in Canberra, Australia, Goldstone, CA, and Madrid, Spain. They would point their 64 meter wide dish antennas at the same quasar in the center of our galaxy, and then using the excellent time stability of the hydrogen maser atomic clocks, they would correlate the signals being received between these DSN sites.
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GPS or Come Follow Me

Trust in GPS?  Or God?

When Christ began his ministry he invited Peter, and Andrew his brother to follow him: “And he saith unto them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.  And they straightway  left their nets, and followed him.”  At that moment, he became the GPS or guide for his apostles and for all mankind.  “Come follow me” and gain eternal life.

During my 82 years on this planet, we spent 32 of them in Boulder, Colorado, (1960-1992) helping develop the nation’s official time — based on atomic clocks.  During that time I also helped in the development of GPS.  It has been an inspiring ride. I spent many man-years on GPS alone – helping with the atomic-clock part of that system.   The GPS usage is growing rapidly, and the GPS user device market is expected to be $3 billion in four years.  Everybody loves their GPS, which Google Maps has taken over.  How did people get along without it? Continue reading GPS or Come Follow Me

Finding Peace On Earth

We are also dreaming of a system better than GPS that could help bring “Peace on earth.”  This will require collaboration with other countries in a large variety of scientific activities.  Our goal is to use technology to help further the effort of “Finding Peace on Earth Good will toward men.” I will show you how and why precise timekeeping plays a major role in this goal.

Precise timekeeping has improved by a billion fold during my 82 years on this planet, and it has been exciting to be part of it.  It is the most accurate and precise of all technologies and growing faster with enormous benefits to the human family.  GPS is an example: the heart of GPS is precisely synchronized atomic clocks; it would not work without them.

(By reading this blog article, it may help you under stand in five minutes how GPS works. )    The incredible accuracies of the ever improving atomic-clock technologies opens an opportunity to make an advanced GPS with much greater precision than it has now and with enormous benefits.  It is now about 5 meters accurate; can you imagine 1 millimeter?
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The Bicycle

Bicycle Efficiency

The bicycle is the most efficient transport mechanism on the planet.  In 1973 Scientific American shared a study showing this amazing result.  The biggest muscles in the human body coupled to two wheels makes this means of transport at the top of the efficient chart or at the bottom in energy expended.  As shown in the chart in the “bicycle efficiency” article, the efficiency is 0.15 calories/gram/kilometer.  This would be like a car getting well over 100 miles per gallon, while getting the daily needed exercise.

Steve Jobs was so taken by this study on bicycle efficiency.  he likened it to how computers allow us to expand the mind like a bike increases our efficiency of transport.  But for me, the computer is not to expand the mind, but a means to be more efficient in the work of the Lord, which brings the greatest of joy in time and in eternity.
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The Miracle of the Human Brain

Brain research has revealed the miracle of the human brain. The marvel of the brain is manifest in every field and area of our lives. Whether it is chemistry, mathematics, medicine, religion, architecture, technology, just to name a few, its power has been largely unappreciated. By ignoring the fact that the human brain is more powerful than anything in this world we often miss the reality that no computer system has the capacity to store and interchange so much information in such as small space. It has the power of infinite intelligence, even beyond this physical world.

Getting Smarter is Not Harder!

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David W Allan – IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award

David W AllanLast Wednesday, 23 May 2018, David W. Allan received the IEEE Joseph F. Keithley Award in Instrumentation and Measurement at the International Frequency  Control Symposium in Squaw Creek, CA.  The citation read, “for leadership in time determination and precise timing instruments.”

Atomic Clocks

Keeping time, or more precisely, keeping accurate time, has been the focus of David W. Allan’s career. He developed a device to automatically remove systematic timing errors from quartz-crystal oscillators used for generating the United States’ official time. He also created a dual-mixer time-difference measurement system with sub-pico-second precision for comparing atomic clocks.

GPS Receiver

His group developed a GPS common-view timing receiver, which has been used to transfer time from timing centers around the world to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures for generating coordinated universal time (UTC) as the world’s official time. This receiver was also used in synchronizing the NASA/JPL Deep Space Network high precision clocks.  His “smart-clock” method for enhancing GPS civil signals has been instrumental in synchronizing cell phone towers. The Allan Variance, Modified Allan Variance, and the Time Variance, which he developed, have become international standards for designing and constructing time and frequency equipment for systems like GPS, navigation, and telecommunication.
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