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Patrick Gill

Patrick Gill

Senior NPL Fellow

NPL Fellow in the Time & Frequency Department. He joined NPL in 1975 after completing his DPhil thesis on gas laser excitation mechanisms at the University of Oxford. His initial research at NPL involved iodine-stabilised lasers for the realisation of the SI metre, before starting research on laser cooled ions and atoms as high accuracy frequency standards and optical clocks for a future redefinition of the SI second. For over two decades, he represented NPL on the CIPM Consultative Committees for Time and Frequency, and for Length, and was a co-Chair of the CCTF-CCL Frequency Standards Working Group.
Patrick became a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in 1998. He is a visiting professor at Imperial College since 1998 and at the University of Oxford since 2006. He was awarded an MBE for services to Science in The Queen's New Year's Honours List 2015, and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. Patrick was awarded the Tompion Medal by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in 1999, the Rabi Award by the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium in 2007, and the 2008 Young Medal and Prize by the Institute of Physics. He received the Callendar Medal from the Institute of Measurement & Control in 2016, the 2017 Time Lord award from the International Timing & Synchronisation Forum, and the 2019 European Frequency & Time Forum Lifetime Achievement award. In 2020 he was awarded the Rumford Medal from the Royal Society.

Areas of Interest

  • Cold ion and atom optical clocks for a future redefinition of the SI second, their international comparison and dissemination to UK science, technology and industry
  •  Microwave and optical clock development for portable timing systems with extended holdover in GNSS-denied situations in position, navigation, timing and synchronisation applications for telecommunications, critical national infrastructure, defence and security.
  • Ultra-stable optical cavities and micro-combs for portable timing systems.
  •  Optical clocks, ultra-stable lasers & IR frequency standards for space science, including future GNSS, next generation gravity mission NGGM monitoring Earth gravity fields, space-based CO2 monitoring for climate change studies, and gravitational wave detection from space (LISA).
  •  Co-ordination of NPL contributions to the UK Quantum Hub on Sensors & Timing in respect of micro-combs, low phase noise optical oscillators, cold ion microwave clocks and the NPL-Birmingham dark fibre link testbed.

Key Publications

Patrick has over 190 publications (over 140 peer-reviewed), with particular examples shown below:

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