John McFerran

Dr, BSc BE GradDipSc PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M013), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 404 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
1998 …2024
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Personal profile


John McFerran is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS). Since completing his Ph.D. at UWA 2003 he has held research positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, CO (in the Time and Frequency Division and Optoelectronics Divisions), LNE-SYRTE, Paris Observatory and XLIM, Limoges, France. His fields of research include optical frequency synthesis (fibre-laser and solid state-laser-based frequency combs), optical atomic clocks and laser spectroscopy. He was awarded an ARC Future fellowship in 2011 (commencing in 2012) and has developed a cold atom optical clock based on ytterbium at UWA.

Roles and responsibilities

Masters and PhD supervisor, lecturer, researcher and seminar convenor.

Future research

Testing the inverse square law of gravity at micron distance scales. Providing a time signal for the Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space mission (ACES).

Funding overview

Scientific Mobility (French) travel award 2013
ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS): 2018-2024.

Previous positions

Chercheur Postdoctoral, Systèmes de Référence Temps-Espace, Observatoire de Paris, France.
Chercheur Postdoctoral, XLIM Institute, Université de Limoges, France.
Guest Researcher, National Institute of Standards & Technology, Boulder, USA.

Current projects

Optical lattice clock (with cold Yb atoms) for a Time-and-Frequency ground station.

Industrial relevance

Providing students with skills in electronics, computing, optics, and applied problem solving.

Teaching overview

PHYS3012 Frontiers of Modern Physics (Modern Optics & applied QM),,
PHYS2001 Electromagnetism
PHYS3001 Atomic Physics


Optical atomic clocks.
Optical frequency synthesis.
Atomic spectroscopy.


Un peu de Francais.

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Projects 2004 2024

Research Output 1998 2018

  • 404 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 28 Article
  • 11 Conference paper
1 Citations

Laser stabilization with a frequency-to-voltage chip for narrow-line laser cooling

McFerran, J. J., 1 Apr 2018, In : Optics Letters. 43, 7, p. 1475-1478 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

laser cooling
electric potential
3 Citations

Production of ultracold Cs∗Yb molecules by photoassociation

Guttridge, A., Hopkins, S. A., Frye, M. D., McFerran, J. J., Hutson, J. M. & Cornish, S. L., 19 Jun 2018, In : Physical Review A. 97, 6, 063414.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

diatomic molecules
hyperfine structure

Inverted crossover resonances with Δf=0 or 1 inverted crossover resonances with the intercombination line of 171Yb

McFerran, J. & De Clercq, E., 27 Oct 2017, 2017 Joint Conference of the European Frequency and Time Forum and IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium, EFTF/IFC 2017 - Proceedings. IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, p. 421-422 2 p. 8088910

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paper

Laser cooling
Atomic beams
laser cooling
Fluorescence spectroscopy
1 Citations

Inverted crossover resonance within one Zeeman manifold

Salter, L. A., DeClercq, E. & McFerran, J. J., 2 Aug 2017, In : Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. 50, 16, 165003.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

frequency measurement
frequency modulation
6 Citations
Open Access
laser cooling
nuclear spin
frequency shift