John McFerran

Dr, BSc BE GradDipSc PhD W.Aust.

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

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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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

Developing an optical lattice clock with ultracold Yb atoms for a Time-and-Frequency ground station.

-Implementing lattice trapping in an optical atomic clock
-Implementing lasers for normalised population determination in ultracold atoms.
-Measuing isotope shifts and nuclear parameters in neutral ytterbium

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

PHYS1030 Physics Bridging
PHYS3001 Atomic Physics


Optical atomic clocks.
Optical frequency synthesis.
Atomic spectroscopy.


Un peu de Francais.


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