Dr Sarah Scholten


Dr Sarah Scholten

Laser Physicist

University of Adelaide

Have you ever cursed your maps app when it can’t get a GPS signal, leaving you a bit lost? The total loss of a GPS signal, or its susceptibility to spoofing – overriding a device's GPS location - (hello there Pokemon Go players, I see you!) is a huge problem for many industries, for reasons that go far beyond you getting momentarily turned around!

The best way to prevent the complete loss or spoofing of GPS signals is to improve the underpinning technology of GPS satellites – atomic clocks. Dr Sarah Scholten spends her precisely measured time developing a leading-edge optical atomic clock that is leagues ahead in performance compared to the versions on current GPS satellites, while keeping it small enough to one day launch into space.

Sarah received her PhD in Laser Physics from the University of Adelaide in 2019 and is currently an early career researcher at the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing. In her laser lab, Sarah is creating the next generation of optical clocks and aspiring physicists – who through her research and outreach work will hopefully be a lot less lost, both metaphorically and figuratively!