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Fellows Directory

John Clarke

Professor John Clarke FRS


Elected: 1986


John Clarke’s research is based on the theory, design and applications of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs), which are ultrasensitive detectors of magnetic flux. He worked on non-equilibrium properties of superconductors, notably the phenomenon of charge imbalance. He and his students developed SQUID magnetometers that, together with a novel remote magnetic reference scheme, significantly improved the accuracy of magnetotellurics, a geophysical survey technique. He was active in the development of SQUIDs based on high-transition temperature superconductors.

His current interests include the application of SQUIDs configured as quantum-noise limited amplifiers to search for the axion (a candidate for cold dark matter), the use of SQUIDs as ultrasensitive magnetometers in ultralow frequency magnetic resonance imaging, and the use of SQUIDs to read out superconducting flux qubits for applications in quantum information. John received the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society in 2004. He is a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, from which he received the Comstock Prize in Physics in 1999, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professional positions

Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, Berkeley Geochronology Center (BGC)
Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, NTT Basic Research Laboratories

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Quantum Information, Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices, Superconductivity, Ultra-low Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Hughes Medal

    For his outstanding research, leading the world in the invention, building and development of innovative new Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices (SQUID), in their theory and in their application to a plethora of fundamental problems and their investigative tools.