National Physical Laboratory

Helen Margolis

Current interests

Helen Margolis

Helen Margolis leads NPL's research activities in optical frequency metrology using femtosecond combs, which are part of the research programme to develop a new generation of high accuracy optical atomic clocks based on laser-cooled trapped ions and atoms.

Helen is also involved in NPL research on improved methods for comparing optical clocks developed in different laboratories, and is coordinating the EMRP-funded project International timescales with optical clocks.


Helen graduated in 1990 with a BA in Physics from the University of Oxford. She stayed on in Oxford to undertake postgraduate research and was awarded the DPhil degree in 1994 for spectroscopic studies of highly charged ions using an electron beam ion trap (EBIT). After completing her thesis she spent a further four years in Oxford, first as a postdoctoral research assistant in the EBIT group and later as a university lecturer. During this time she worked on a range of experiments designed to test the theory of quantum electrodynamics by spectroscopy of highly charged ions.

In 1998 Helen moved to NPL, where she is now a Principal Research Scientist. She also holds a visiting researcher position in the sub-department of Atomic and Laser Physics at the University of Oxford.

Helen is part of the CCL/CCTF joint working group on frequency standards, the EFTF executive committee and the EPSRC peer review college.

In 2015, Helen Margolis was made an NPL Fellow in Optical Frequency Standards and Metrology.

Selected publications

Contact details

Tel: +44 20 8943 6113

Last Updated: 12 Jan 2015
Created: 22 May 2013


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