Professor John Close

Professor John Close
Head of Department
Department of Quantum Science
Office phone
Physics 1 37


I completed my PhD in physics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. I was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1991 to 1994 and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute from 1994 to 1998. I returned to Australia taking up a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship in 2000. I have been a Professor in the Research School of Physics and Engineering since 2008 and was Deputy Director of the School from 2012 to 2016. I am a member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts. I served on the ANU council from 2012 to 2014. I have served on the University Education Committee since 2014, and I am currently Deputy Chair of the ANU Academic Board. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Head of the Department of Quantum Science.

Research interests

My main field of research focusses on harnessing the quantum properties of ultra-cold atoms to advance precision measurements of rotation, acceleration, gravity, magnetic fields and time and the development of field deployable technology based on those advances.

In addition to my main field of research, I have broad interests and currently I am collaborating on research projects in quantum limited imaging applied to biological systems, fibre based microphones for music recording and other applications such as early warning landslide systems, and general relativity.


I have always considered excellence in research and excellence in education important in my role at ANU, and I have been active in both over many years. In 2006, I recieved a national teaching award for research led education. From 2012 to 2016, I was Deputy Director of the Research School of Physics and Engineering at ANU with a focus on undergraduate education. In 2016, I am stepping back from the Deputy Director role to focus on a national research program but will continue to teach some undergraduate classes and continue an active involvement in the future of physics education at ANU.

When dialing an ANU extension from outside the university:
  • (02) 612 XXXXX (within Australia)
  • +61 2 612 XXXXX (outside Australia)
Where XXXXX is the 5 digit extension number you are after.
Anti-Spam notice: The email addresses from this directory are made available to support the academic and business activities of ANU. These email addresses are not published as an invitation to receive unsolicited commercial messages or 'spam' and we do not consent to receipt of such materials. Any messages that are received which contravenes this policy is strictly prohibited, and is also a breach of the Spam Act 2003. The University reserves the right to recover all costs incurred in the event of breach of this policy.

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster