Dr. John McFerran is a researcher in optical and atomic physics and a lecturer at the University of Western Australia (UWA). He has held research positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, USA; LNE-SYRTE, Paris Observatory, France; XLIM, Limoges, France and Durham University, UK.
His research topics include, optical atomic clocks, laser spectroscopy, optical frequency synthesis and ultra-cold atoms and molecules. He received an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship in 2011 through which he with students developed a cold atom optical clock based on ytterbium at UWA.
In Paris 2009-2011, whilst working in the group of Sébastien Bize, he was instrumental in producing the world’s first mercury based optical lattice clock and measuring the associated magic wavelength. These types of clocks are beginning to show superiority over all previous forms of clocks and will be invaluable for future tests of fundamental physics.