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PhD Studentship - Using Ultracold Molecules to Search for New Physics Beyond the Standard Model

Imperial College London - Centre for Cold Matter

A PhD studentship in the Centre for Cold Matter is available to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model using ultracold molecules.

The Centre for Cold Matter is an established world leader in the creation of cold and ultracold molecules for investigating fundamental physics.  For many years, this work has included making precise measurments on YbF molecules to search for the electric dipole moment of the electron (eEDM) and the associated CP-violating physics that is thought to be responsible for the observed matter / anti-matter imbalance in the universe.  New developments in molecular laser cooling, which the group has also pioneered, promise to greatly improve such precision measurements.  The development of a brand new  eEDM experiment, based on a beam of YbF molecules laser cooled to ultracold temperatures, is currently underway.  The successful PhD candidate will be heavily involved in the design and commissioning of this new world-leading device, which will be able to measure the eEDM more precisely than ever before.

Figure 1 – Schematic of the new experiment. YbF molecules generated in a cryogenic buffer-gas beam are optically pumped, transversely laser cooled to ultracold temperatures, and decelerated in preparation of the eEDM measurement. The measurement consists of spin polarization, propagation through a region of large electric field, spin projection, and readout.

Applicants should hold a Masters in Physics or a closely related subject and have a strong interest in experimental quantum physics. Funding has been secured from The Royal Society for four years of study, which covers fees (for UK/EU applicants only), a tax-free stipend of £16,777 per year, conference travel, and consumables for research.  The post is available immediately (Mar. 2019 onwards).  The candidate will have access to state-of-the-art research laboratories and equipment and will work closely with the current team of three postdoctoral researchers and three PhD students, led by Royal Society University Research Fellow Dr. Noah Fitch.

Interested students should contact Dr. Fitch at for more information about the project, group, and how to apply.

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £16,777 per year, conference travel, and consumables for research
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 5th March 2019
Closes: 1st June 2019
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