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Fellows Directory

Patrick Gill

Professor Patrick Gill MBE FRS


Elected: 2016


Patrick Gill’s research is concerned with laser frequency stabilisation techniques for very high resolution spectroscopy, and the development of leading-edge optical atomic clocks that look to form the basis of a future redefinition of the SI second. These include optical clocks based on laser-cooled single ions confined in radiofrequency traps and neutral atoms held in optical lattices, and which now reach uncertainties below that of the caesium fountain primary frequency standard.

Additionally, he has developed a range of stable lasers and optical metrology instrumentation with application to high technology sectors such as precision engineering and manufacture, space science, satellite navigation, Earth observation, defence and security and optical telecommunications.

Patrick is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and was awarded the IOP 2008 Thomas Young Medal & Prize for world-leading contributions to optical frequency metrology. He also received the 2007 I.I. Rabi Award from the IEEE International Frequency Control Symposium for contributions to time and frequency metrology and the realisation of single ion optical frequency standards. More recently, his group received the Royal Institute of Navigation’s Duke of Edinburgh Award in 2014 for long term atomic clock development.

Professional positions

Senior NPL Fellow in Time & Frequency, National Physical Laboratory

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Absorption spectroscopy, Time measurement, Wave frequency