John McFerran

Dr, BSc BE GradDipSc PhD W.Aust.

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

    6009 Crawley


  • 381 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.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

clocks Physics & Astronomy
atomic clocks Physics & Astronomy
laser cooling Physics & Astronomy
lasers Physics & Astronomy
ytterbium Physics & Astronomy
crossovers Physics & Astronomy
Frequency stability Engineering & Materials Science
rubidium Physics & Astronomy

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2004 2024

Research Output 1998 2018

  • 381 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 27 Article
  • 11 Conference paper

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

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/Report/Conference proceedingConference 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
4 Citations

Clock and inter-combination line frequency separation in 171Yb

Nenadović, L. & Mcferran, J. 7 Mar 2016 In : Journal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics. 49, 6, p. 1-8 9 p., 065004

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
frequency standards
frequency measurement