Postgraduate Scholarship in Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics

University of Kent - School of Physical Sciences

Supervisor: Dr Gunnar Möller

We seek candidates for a four-year PhD position within a Royal Society funded project on “Fluctuation driven orders near quantum critical points”.

The goal of this project is to provide a quantitative study of quantum critical fluctuations based on a combination of quantum order by disorder theory and stochastic resummations of Feynman graphs known as diagrammatic Monte-Carlo. We will examine how fluctuations can entropically stabilise non-trivial phases near the ferromagnetic quantum critical point, found in materials such as ZrZn­2, as well as studying phases emerging from the competition of superconducting and nematic orders in models of iron-based superconductors.

The project will offer exposure to numerical and analytical methods of quantum many-body physics. The candidate will perform tasks ranging from code development, simulation and data analysis to the application of analytic models and comparison to theory predictions, allowing them to develop their understanding of condensed matter physics alongside strong computational and programming skills.

The successful candidate will be based in the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Kent in Canterbury, and will benefit from the Graduate School of the University of Kent and activities within the SEPNet Consortium. They will work within the Quantum Materials research theme of the school’s interdisciplinary Functional Materials Group, under the direct supervision of Dr Gunnar Möller. The project will involve an external collaboration with Prof. Andrew Green at University College London. Within the Functional Materials Group, the post is part of a growing theoretical physics community. The candidate will also benefit from our international network of collaborators.

This PhD Studentship is available with immediate effect. The start date of this project is flexible, but the post should be taken up before 16 September 2018.

Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first or upper second-class honours Master degree (or international equivalent) in Physics, Mathematics or a related quantitative subject.  A solid background in condensed matter physics and computational methods is essential, and knowledge of many-body physics and field theoretical methods would be an advantage. Readiness to engage with high performance numerical work is essential, and prior experience programming and working in a Linux environment is desirable. Candidates should have good communication skills and a solid working knowledge of the English language.

This is a Royal Society funded PhD studentship, which will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £14,553; to cover living costs). The award is offered for four years, and includes a generous travel budget. The award will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,195 per annum); students of other nationalities are invited to apply provided they can cover the excess international fees. Further information on student fees for international applicants can be found on the University’s Student Finance webpages. The post holder may undertake some teaching or demonstrating duties during their period of study. The University of Kent is an equal-opportunities employer. Women, members of ethnic minorities, and members of other under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact: For further information or informal enquiries, please contact Dr Gunnar Möller at

How to Apply: To apply please go to:

Deadline Date for Applications: 6 February 2018

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