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PhD Studentship: Exploring Fluctuations in Quantum Thermal Machines

University of Bristol

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 3.5 years at the UKRI rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 30th November 2021
Closes: 31st January 2022

The project:
Thermodynamics is one of the pillars of natural sciences: it studies the way energy is exchanged between bodies at different temperature. However, what happens when the processes of interest involve systems as simple as electrons, atoms or simple molecules? For such nanoscale building blocks of matter, the laws of quantum mechanics have to be invoked. Miniaturised to only handfuls of atoms, these machines hold the promise of offering highly efficient ways of generating power, managing heat flows and recovering wasted energy in wide-ranging technologies, from microprocessors to chemical reactions. This research project aims to develop novel mathematical tools and powerful simulation methods to understand the fundamental principles governing the performance of the smallest possible engines. The project will unravel how quantum coherence, dissipation and many-body correlations influence the fluctuations, entropy production and efficiency of nanoscale autonomous and periodically driven devices.

This PhD project will complement an active research project QuamNESS (https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/T028424/1) lead by Dr Stephen Clark at Bristol and working closely with his collaborators Dr John Gould (Trinity College Dublin) and Prof Mauro Paternostro (Queens University Belfast). The project will benefit from the involvement of Dr Tony Short at Bristol. The proposed research will include a mix of analytical techniques from open quantum systems theory, quantum information theory and statistical mechanics as well as novel numerical methods such as tensor network theory.

How to apply:
Please make an online application for this project at http://www.bris.ac.uk/pg-howtoapply. Please select Physics PhD on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. Please make sure you include the title of studentship and the contact supervisor in your Personal Statement.


Candidate requirements:
Candidates should have completed an undergraduate degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) in Physics, with some evidenced competency in mathematical methods and computer programming (e.g. Python, C, C++).

Funding: This studentship is fully funded under the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK student level and an annual stipend for up to three and half years at the standard UKRI stipend rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22).

Contacts: Dr Stephen Clark (stephen.clark@bristol.ac.uk)

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