PhD and Postdoc opening at PTB Braunschweig/Leibniz Universität Hannover

Job type: 

Application deadline: 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Topic: Precision Spectroscopy on laser-cooled ion Coulomb crystals for atomic clocks.

In 2012, the Nobel Prize was awarded for the laser spectroscopy and manipulation of single ions and the outstanding control of their quantum state. This work had laid the foundation for the development of quantum computers and optical atomic clocks based on laser-cooled ions. The goal of this project is to for the first time perform precision spectroscopy and demonstrate quantum control of a mesoscopic crystal made of single laser-cooled ions. When multiple ions are laser-cooled in ion traps, crystalline structures form [1]. Similar to solid-state systems, a phonon spectrum exists and thermodynamical quantities such as heat conductivity and a speed of sound can be identified. Adding more and more ions, allows observing the transition from the properties of an isolated atomic system to a thermodynamic mesoscopic quantum system, i.e. the onset of statistical thermodynamics from a system of single atoms [2]. For this, Yb and In ions will be laser cooled in scalable ion traps, which are developed and built at PTB. For the spectroscopy, an ultra-stable clock laser system is available. The scope of this PhD project is to investigate how a crystalline many-body system can be brought into its quantum mechanical ground state and how crystal defects influence the heat conductivity therein. This project lays the foundation for the development of new optical atomic clocks and for quantum simulation of solid-state systems.

The project is part of international research networks and offers the opportunity for international visits and research stays.

[1] Pyka et al., Nat. Comm. 4, 2291 (2013)
[2] Bermudez et al., PRL 111, 040601 (2013)

Your profile:
PhD candidates should have successfully completed a Master or Diplom in physics or a related subject. Experience in exp. quantum optics, UHV technology, laser cooling and spectroscopy, C++ or electronics is an asset but not required. For PostDocs, a PhD in physics related to quantum optics is required. We offer exciting projects at the forefront of science in a young and motivated team. We expect you to take responsibility for your project, have good communication skills, and be a team player.

The graduation will take place at Leibniz Universität Hannover.

Dr. Tanja E. Mehlstäubler
QUEST Institut für experimentelle Quantenmetrologie
Phone: +49 (0)531-592-4422
E-mail: tanja.mehlstaeubler at