John McFerran

Associate Professor, BSc BE GradDipSc PhD W.Aust.

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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


John McFerran is a lecturer and researcher at UWA. 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, France,  XLIM, Limoges, France, and the University of Durham, UK. 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 and has developed a cold atom optical clock based on ytterbium at UWA.

Roles and responsibilities

Masters and PhD Supervisor, Lecturer, Researcher and Academic Conduct Advisor.

Funding overview

ARC Future Fellow 2012-2016
ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS): 2018-2019.

Scientific Mobility (French) travel award 2013


Optical atomic clocks.  Optical frequency synthesis. Atomic spectroscopy.

Current projects

- Developing an optical lattice clock with ultracold Yb atoms.
- Measuring isotope shifts and nuclear parameters in neutral ytterbium

- Performing King plot analyses for tests of the Standard Model of particle physics

Teaching overview

PHYS3001 Atomic Physics,  PHYS3012 Frontiers of Modern Physics (Modern Optics & applied QM), PHYS2001 Electromagnetism, PHYS1030 Physics Bridging.

Future research

Measuring isotope shifts and nuclear parameters in neutral ytterbium, and performing King plot analyses for tests of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Industrial relevance

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

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.

Guest Researcher, Durham University, United Kingdom.


Un peu de Francais.


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