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PhD Studentship Opportunity in Solid-state Atomic Clocks

University of Surrey

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 per annum for UK/EU citizens only
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th August 2019
Closes: 1st December 2019

Studentship Description 

Quantum science and technology of atomic clocks. Atomic clocks are very accurate but very large and resource hungry. The aim of the project is to make a prototype for a semiconductor version and make predictions about how small and cheap they might become. 

The atomic clock is a mature quantum technology that provides sophisticated but large and resource-hungry frequency standards with remarkable levels of precision and accuracy. The idea is that a clock based on an oscillator and counter (like a pendulum and the hands on the clock-face) must be “disciplined” by periodically checking against a natural phenomenon (like the midday sun). The benefit of the free atom in vacuum as the natural standard against which to discipline the frequency of a quartz oscillator is that the atomic frequency is independent of time and position, and the hyperfine transitions for alkali vapours are extremely regular and sharply defined. 

This is a 3 year project, commencing on the 1st October 2019.  

Entry Requirements 

All applicants should have (or expect to obtain) a first class or high upper second degree. Applicants must be from the UK or EU. If English is not your first language, please copy of a valid IELTS certificate (from the past 2 years), 6.5 overall with 6.0 minimum in each band).  


University fees will be covered for the entirety of the project, with a stipend of £15, 009 per annum for UK/EU citizens only. 

How to Apply 

All studentship applications need to be sent through the website ( and not emailed directly to the academic. Applicants are encouraged to contact Prof Ben Murdin to discuss their application. 

Please use ‘Application for Solid-state atomic clocks PhD’ in the subject line. 

Application Enquiries

Prof Ben Murdin,, 0148368 9328.

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