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Anne Curtis

Anne Curtis

Principal scientist

E Anne Curtis is an experimental physicist working in the Time & Frequency Department. She received her PhD from the University of Colorado for development of a calcium optical atomic clock at NIST, Boulder in the USA. After a 3-year Royal Society USA Fellowship at Imperial College London developing “atom chip” technologies for BECs and other integrated optics applications, she joined NPL to start a neutral atom optical clock programme. Her current science role focuses on ion-based optical clocks for applications requiring the highest accuracy.

Anne presents invited talks and tutorial sessions at international conferences and for the general public in the areas of optical atomic clocks and molecular spectroscopy methods for trace gas detection. She works on single-ion systems for optical frequency metrology, tests of fundamental physics and redefinition of the SI second. She is developing photonic technologies for gas sensing metrology, with applications in environmental monitoring and the clean energy and medical sectors, including ultra-sensitive real-time cavity-enhanced gas detection in “NICE-OHMS” systems. Anne is also working to develop laser-stabilisation systems for space-based gas sensing, using gas-filled hollow-core fibre photonic technology.

Anne was seconded into the UK government Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to work within a cross-government team to develop a UK Strategy in Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT), which culminated in the creation of a UK National PNT Office. She is also a member of the UK Institute of Physics (MInstP).

Areas of interest

  • Optical clock development, including composite clock systems, working towards a redefinition of the SI second and for fundamental physics research (e.g. dark matter and variation of constants)
  • Trace gas sensing using high finesse optical cavities and modulation spectroscopy techniques including NICE-OHMS
  • Compact laser stabilisation or reference system development, including utilisation of fully-sealed hollow-core fibre-based gas cells
  • UK Strategy on Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) and Quantum Technology Sectors - research and development of quantum clocks and sensors, engagement in skills and knowledge development including secondment programme STEM-Futures, academic and industrial engagement, and in quantum standards.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion - NPL D&I Task Force, Project Juno, Parents’ Network

Key publications

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