Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers/PhD Students in Physics (Two positions) at the University of Nottingham

School of Physics and Astronomy

Marie Curie ITN Project: Quantum Sensor Technologies and Applications (QTea) 

Marie Curie Early Stage Researchers/PhD Students in Physics (Two positions)

 Applications are invited for the above post to work with Dr Thomas Fernholz and Prof Peter Krüger in the framework of a European funded project at the University of Nottingham. The successful candidates will register for a 3 year PhD at the School of Physics and Astronomy within the Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN): Quantum Sensor Technologies and Applications – QTea.

Two research projects are based on the physics of ultra-cold atoms, trapped under ultra-high vacuum conditions in tightly confining magnetic fields. Atoms hover above so-called atom chips, which are used to produce trapping fields by running currents through litho­graphically patterned conductors. This technique has proven to be useful for a variety of applications.

Project 1: Interfacing ultra-cold atoms with solid-state materials.

This project will focus on using atoms as surface probes. The fragility of Bose-Einstein condensates, i.e. collections of atoms at the lowest possible energy allowed by quantum mechanics, can be used to map out electrical and magnetic properties of materials with high sensitivity and spatial resolution. In collaboration with IBM, we will further develop this novel magnetic microscopy technique to measure field patterns on the nanoscale. For further information on this project contact .

Project 2: Quantum optics with atoms loaded into hollow-core fibres.

Ensembles of atoms can be used to store the quantum state of light and retrieve it later with an arbitrary delay, limited by the atomic coherence time. Such a quantum memory is required to generate and maintain entanglement at long distances and is an essential building block of future quantum communication networks. In this project, strong coupling between light and ultra-cold atoms will be achieved inside the 6 mm-Æ hollow core of a photonic crystal fibre, integrated into an atom-chip environment. For further information on this project contact .


The overall aim of the QTea network is to establish a transnational platform for the career development of young researchers on quantum technologies, ranging from modern time and frequency standards to terrestrial and airborne gravimetry. Hence, the selected candidates will be able to develop multidisciplinary knowledge ranging from fundamental science to industrial application. Successful candidates will take part in a network wide training program and are expected to collaborate with network partners through short term placements at industrial/academic partner institutions within UK and EU.

Qualified candidates should possess and excellent masters or diploma in experimental quantum physics or photonics. In addition ESR fellows must, at the time of recruitment by the host organization, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not yet been awarded a doctoral degree. They are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up their appointment. At the time of recruitment by the host organization, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in the country of their host organization for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Short stays such as holidays and/or compulsory national service are not taken into account. Through collaboration with academic and industry partners, also provides complementary training for PhD students in academia and the private sector.

Due to the requirements of the UK Border and Immigration Agency, applicants who are not UK or EEA nationals and whose immigration status entitles them to work without restriction in the UK will be considered on an equal basis with UK and EEA nationals.  Other non-UK or non-EEA nationals whose employment will require permission to work subject to a resident labour market test may only be considered if there are no suitable UK or EEA national candidates for the post.  Please visit for more information.

This full-time post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for a period of 36 months.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Thomas Fernholz on and Prof Peter Krüger . Please note that applications sent direct to these email addresses will not be accepted.

Salary: Minimum £36929 per annum, depending on family status and pension arrangements according to Marie Curie rules.


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