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PhD Studentship: On Dynamics of Quantum Gases

University of Sussex - Quantum Sensors and Devices Group

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Falmer
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 tax-free bursary for living costs per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th April 2019
Closes: 30th September 2019

There is a long history of probing fundamental quantum mechanics using atomic physics. In our group, we investigate complex many-body phenomena such as quantum phase transitions and manipulation of low-dimensional quantum systems both in and out of equilibrium using ultracold atomic gases on atom chips.

The project will utilise the current rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) apparatus to test a fundamental question of the nature of quantum phase [1, 2]. The answer to that question requires very precise control of quantum atomic ensembles. While the coherent splitting of a BEC into two sub-ensembles was achieved more than a decade ago [3], this project will entail the creation and manipulation of at least three coherent sub-ensembles using the radio-frequency dressed potentials in a way that is not a straightforward extension of previous work.

The successful candidate is expected to work on an atom chip based ultracold atom system. The effort will entail the experimental design, as well as theory and numerical simulations.

The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum physics and numerical modelling. Emphasis on various aspects of research (modelling, experimental work, sample fabrication) will be adjusted to the interests and skills of the student.

The PhD student on this project will obtain experience in the followings:

  • Neutral cold atom systems, Bose-Einstein condensates
  • Experimental techniques such as optics, laser spectroscopy and electronics
  • Atom chips and printed circuit board technology
  • Numerical methods
  • Quantum theory optionally
  • Publish and present research in high-quality international journals and conferences
  • Report orally and prepare papers reporting progress and delivery of project outcomes
  • Proactively contribute to the activities of the research group

In addition to a good Honours or Masters degree, the candidate should have a background in Atomic and Quantum Physics and have excellent IT skills including programming.

Group information

Our group uses neutral atoms as precision sensors and combines a mix of fundamental and applied research. We aim to bring quantum technology out of the laboratory so that it can be harnessed by non-specialists. At the same time, we want to discover more about how the quantum world works. In particular, we use ultra-cold atomic gases to study complex many-body phenomena.

How to Apply

Apply through the postgraduate application system and select the full time PhD in Physics with a September 2019 start date

Applications will be considered until the position has been filled.

When you apply, you should include:

  • the supervisor’s name (Professor Peter Krueger) in the ‘Suggested supervisor’ section
  • Magnetic microscopy with Bose-Einstein condensates in the ‘Award detail’ section
  • a research proposal/personal statement which describes your suitability for the project
  • 2 academic references
  • your transcripts from any previously obtained degrees. If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, you can provide an interim transcript or record of any marks obtained so far.

[1] J. Leggett. “Is Relative Quantum Phase Transitive”. Foundations of Physics, 25 (1995), pp. 113-122.

[2] A. Dunningham and K. Burnett. “Phase Standard for Bose-Einstein Condensates”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 82 (1999), p. 3729.

[3] Schumm et al. “Matter-wave interferometry in a double well on an atom chip”. Nature Physics, 1 (2005), pp. 57–62.

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