PhD Studentship: Bio-magnetism for imaging the brain and central nervous system

University of Sussex - Quantum Systems and Devices Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy

 A 3-and-a-half year PhD position is available in in the Quantum Systems and Devices Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Whilst working on this project, you will develop quantum sensors based on the Larmor spin precession of optically-pumped atoms in room-temperature alkali vapour cells, which are currently the most sensitive magnetometers in the world.

Recent work has shown that optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs) are sensitive enough to measure the tiny magnetic fields generated by the body. Such fields are around a billion times smaller than the earth’s magnetic field! As such, OPMs are now viable alternatives to expensive superconducting detectors for bio-magnetism. In particular, they have been shown to be capable of being used in magnetoencephalography – the measurement of the brain’s magnetic fields.

The aim of this work will be to develop arrays of micro-fabricated magnetometers, which are adaptable to a variety of bio-magnetic systems including the brain and spinal cord.

You will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum technology and modelling. After an initial phase, you will work with the QSD group at the University of Sussex, including Drs Bason and Orucevic and Professor Kruger, as well as local neuroscientists and, where relevant, industry.

On this project, you would:

  • Develop new atomic magnetometers in conjunction with members of the UK Quantum Hub in Sensors and Metrology;
  • Learn about MEMs fabrication techniques;
  • Apply active compensation techniques to reduce remnant magnetic fields in shielded environments;
  • Help to develop computationally inverse methods capable of localising current dipoles in three dimensions;
  • Publish and present research in high-quality international journals and conferences;
  • Report orally and prepare papers reporting progress and delivery of project outcomes;
  • Pro-actively contribute to the activities of the research group.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a UK/European Union (EU) student who has been resident in the UK/EU for at least three years;
  • Have or expect to have a UK undergraduate/master’s degree, or equivalent, in Physics or a related subject;
  • You should have background in Atomic and Quantum Physics and have excellent IT skills including programming.

Apply online at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/phd/apply.

Select the PhD in Physics with a September 2018 start date.

In the finance section, you should enter the name of the studentship for which you are applying 'Bio-magnetism for imaging the brain and central nervous system.’

Be sure to supply all of the required documents, particularly your transcripts and the details of two referees.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.

Email Professor Peter Krueger, P.Kruger@sussex.ac.uk, if you have any informal enquiries or for further information.

Email: mpsreasearchsupport@sussex.ac.uk if you have a question about your eligibility for the project.

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England