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Precision Measurement Group Research

We develop and extend measurement platforms of high value to fundamental physics; with an increasing focus on industrial, medical and defence contexts. Our group has three key streams of activity: Frequency Standards & Distribution, Frequency Combs & Spectroscopy, and Quantum Atom-Fibre Photonics.

Frequency Standards and Distribution

We are developing optical and microwave sources having extremely high frequency stability for high impact experiments. These include direct measurement of Einstein’s time dilation effect, as well as frequency references for: leading-edge atomic clocks, optical and radio astronomy, and radar applications.

We are also developing a fibre dissemination network to allow fast and precise frequency comparison between frequency standards within different laboratories. This can be extended to time dissemination over large scales for applications such as the square kilometre array (SKA) radio telescope.


  • Cryogenic Sapphire Oscillator
  • Cryogenic Optical Cavity
  • Stabilized Fibre Link

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Sensing and Spectroscopy

The optical frequency comb is a Nobel Prize winning innovation in laser technology that is poised to revolutionise spectroscopy. We use this massively parallel laser source to characterise atomic and molecular samples with unprecedented precision, accuracy, and speed.  We also specialise in precision laser absorption and two-photon spectroscopy, both within conventional cells and fibre based architectures, with applications in fundamental physics, frequency standard development and quantum computing.

We are developing a program of high-precision sensing based on precision optical techniques using specialised lasers to probe crystalline-disc whispering gallery resonators, primarily for precision measurements of temperature, as well as all optical atomic magnetometers for precision magnetometry.


  • Optical Breath Analysis
  • Real-Time Contaminant Monitoring in Liquid Natural Gas Processing
  • Spectroscopic Determination of the Boltzmann Constant
  • Narrow-Band Parallel Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Whispering Gallery Resonators for Precision Thermometry
  • High Precision Atomic Magnetometry

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Quantum Atom-Fibre Photonics

The advent of hollow-core photonic crystal fibre (pictured right) has revolutionised methods for creating strong interactions between light and matter. This is achieved by confining light and gas within the same small volume.

We make use of this technology to guide cold atoms through fibre, implement both classical and quantum optical switches and produce compact optical frequency standards.


  • Cold Matter Wave
  • Cross Phase Modulation
  • Compact Rubidium/Iodine Frequency Standards

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For details on the Precision Measurement Group members
Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing

North Terrace Campus
The Braggs Building
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 0589 
F: +61 8 8313 4380

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