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Professor Stafford Withington

Professor Stafford Withington

University Professor in Analytical Physics

Professorial Fellow of Downing College

Room 816B Rutherford Building,
Cavendish Laboratory,
JJ Thomson Avenue

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 337393


Stafford Withington has held various positions in the Cavendish Laboratory since 1985, and prior to that held a Royal Society Fellowship in Chalmers University, Gothenberg, Sweden. He is currently a Professor of Physics, and Head of the Detector Physics Group. He is also a Professorial Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, and Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester, where he did his PhD. Prior to 1985 he worked for various companies including, Rolls Royce Engines (1971) Ltd, Marconi Space and Defence Systems Ltd, and Ferranti Microwave Electronics.

Research groups

Quantum Sensors:

Research Interests

Stafford Withington works on the development of advanced instrumentation and ultra-low noise detector technology for astrophysics and the applied sciences. Most of the Group's work is carried out in the millimetre-wave, submillimetre-wave, and infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The Detector Physics Group runs a major superconducting detector fabrication facility, and is interested in many aspects of device physics, including heat transport in low-dimensional structures, solid-state noise mechanisms at low temperatures, and the materials science associated with fabricating complex science grade devices and microcircuits. Stafford Withington has considerable expertise in the optical physics and numerical modelling of submillimetre-wave and infrared bolometers, imaging arrays, interferometers, phased arrays, and pulsed optical systems. 

Key Publications

"A fabrication process for microstrip-coupled superconducting transition edge sensors giving highly reproducible device characteristics". D.M. Glowacka, D.J. Goldie, S. Withington, M. Crane, V. Tsaneva, M.D. Audley, and A. Bunting. Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 151, 249, 2008.

"Technique for measuring the conductance of silicon-nitride membranes using Johnson noise thermometry". K. Rostem, D. Glowacka, D.J. Goldie, and S. Withington. Journal of Low Temperature Physics, 151, 76, 2008.

"Superconducting kinetic inductance detectors for astrophysics". G. Vardulakis, S. Withington, D.J. Goldie, and D.M. Glowacka. Meas. Sci. Technol., 19, 015509, 2008.

"Transition Edge Sensors for bolometric applications: responsivity and saturation". D.J. Goldie, M.D. Audley, D.M. Glowacka, V.N Tsaneva, and S. Withington. J. Appl. Phys., 103, 084509, 2008.

"Theoretical analysis of astronomical phased arrays". S. Withington, G. Saklatavala, and M.P. Hobson. J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. Opt. 10, 015304, 2008.

"Diffraction Considerations for Planar Detectors in the Few-Mode Limit". D.T. Chuss, E.J. Wollack, S.H. Moseley, S. Withington, and G. Saklatvala. Pub. Astronomical Society Pacific, 120, 430, 2008.

"Multi-tone large-signal analysis of superconducting transition edge sensors for astronomy". K. Rostem, S. Withington, and D.J. Goldie. Journal Applied Physics, 102, 034511, 2007.

"Characterising the behaviour of partially coherent detectors through spatio-temporal modes". S. Withington and G. Saklatvala. J. Opt. A: Pure Appl. Opt., 9, 626-633, 2007.