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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M508251/1
Title: FEMTO: FEmtosecond Measurement Technology Options
Principal Investigator: Watson, Dr RJ
Other Investigators:
Mosley, Dr PJ
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: Technology Programme
Starts: 01 June 2015 Ends: 30 September 2016 Value (£): 178,915
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There are a multitude of both civilian and military applications needing precise timing and timekeeping. There is

considerable interest is so-called chip-scale atomic clocks exploiting quantum effects and having stabilities of the order of

1E-12 for simple thermal atom clocks to 1E-16 in the case of optical lattice clocks. The applications of compact atomic

clocks are vast and include:

1. Autonomous navigation, e.g., automotive, maritime, aviation, personal;

2. Space, e.g., micro satellites;

3. Communications, e.g., cellular systems, telecommunications networks, military radio;

4. Finance, e.g., high-frequency computer based trading, data security

The FEMTO project is a direct response to the challenges outlined in the UK Quantum Technology Landscape 2014

(Pritchard & Till, 2014). The project is the first step towards transforming the new quantum clock technologies from

research laboratory experiments into engineered solutions. The new quantum clock technologies, encompassing thermal

atom, trapped single cold-atom and trapped multiple cold-atom physics are disruptive innovations. Such clocks will create

new markets and applications through both their improved stability and also potential reduction in size, weight, power and


To reap the benefits of the new quantum science innovation, engineering innovation is now required. The understanding

and behaviour of quantum clock physics has been obtained in the well-defined, benign confines of a laboratory, using

general-purpose equipment. The challenge now is to develop robust physics packages able to withstand the end-user

environment while optimising the electronic systems for performance, power, mass, volume and cost. Recognising the

variety of applications for the new quantum clocks, the approach of FEMTO includes a number of innovations to maintain

flexibility. There will likely not be a single optimum solution for any application; one may wish to have best performance

(highest stability) or best efficiency (lowest power). FEMTO will allow the user to choose. There are no current commercial

clocks with such capabilities.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk