NMI Prize for 2013 awarded

Wednesday, 20 November, 2013

Physicist Dr Daniel Creedon was yesterday awarded the prestigious federal government National Measurement Institute (NMI) Prize at a ceremony in Sydney, where he gave a seminar on his award-winning work. Dr Creedon was announced as the winner of the prize on World Metrology Day earlier this year.

On 20 May this year - World Metrology Day - physicist Dr Daniel Creedon was announced as the winner of the prestigious federal government National Measurement Institute (NMI) Prize. Yesterday, Dr Creedon was officially presented with his trophy at a ceremony in Sydney, where he gave a seminar on his award-winning work.

The prize is awarded annually by the NMI, a division of the Department of Industry, for achievements in excellence in measurement techniques by an Australian scientist under 35. Dr Creedon was recognised for his work developing next-generation clock technology.

Dr Creedon made measurements on a whispering gallery maser oscillator (WGMO), which demonstrated the nature of the processes limiting its performance, thus pointing the way to further improvements for the WGMO as a next-generation ultrastable frequency standard. He improved the stability of the WGMO and developed an improved measurement system that allowed characterisation of the WGMO without adding noise.

He characterised crystal sapphire oscillators at temperatures approaching absolute zero, thus discovering a new operational range with the potential for even better frequency stability. With precise characterisation, he also discovered nonlinear effects which have potential application to a number of quantum technologies and to the generation of microwave frequency combs.

Department of Industry Secretary Glenys Beauchamp said Dr Creedon’s research has far-reaching commercial and scientific potential, as “advances in precision frequency technology have significant application across a range of scientific fields”.

“Some of these applications include wireless communication and sensing, mobile telephony, deep space satellite tracking, radio astronomy techniques and quantum measurement and control,” Beauchamp said.

“Globally, significant effort has been invested over the last century to improve the precision of timekeeping to the point where the best atomic clocks now will neither gain nor lose a second in more than 3.5 billion years … Now, Dr Creedon’s research has taken a new step in this development.”

Dr Creedon received his PhD in Physics from the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2012, where his thesis won him the University’s Robert Street Prize for making the most outstanding contribution to its field. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate within the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems at UWA’s School of Physics.

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