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PhD - Optical Lattice Clock for Fundamental Studies

We are offering a PhD studentship in physics, working on an optical lattice clock. The clock is based on strontium atoms, which are laser-cooled to a temperature of 1µK, trapped in an optical-lattice. The atoms are then probed by an ultra-stable laser on an extremely narrow internal transition frequency in atoms. Such a clock can measure the passage of time better than an uncertainty of one part in 10^18. This is enough to resolve the gravitational redshift better than 1 cm on the surface of the Earth.  Optical lattice clocks are also candidates for the redefinition of the SI second. Using fibre links with EU’s metrological institutes, we can do real-time comparison of clocks, and across the globe via satellites including the soon-to-be-operational Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES). Such comparisons are also important to get valuable insight into many open problems in fundamental physics, detection of dark matter, tests of relativity and variations of fundamental constants. The candidate will be working on atom trapping and quantum state manipulation. The PhD will also provide an opportunity to develop novel techniques to improve clock performance and participate in international clock comparison campaigns. The University of Birmingham provides opportunities to attend skills-related training courses and international conferences. We are looking for a suitable candidate who is hard working and motivated. The successful candidate will be embedded in an excellent eco-system with an excellent support at every level. The research group consists of several PhDs and PostDocs, as well as 4 state-of-the art labs equipped with 5 frequency combs, one active H maser and one UTC rack among various other facilities and equipments. If you are interested in the job, please apply via the University of Birmingham online portal. Full funding is only available for UK students. If you like to have more information about anything, please get in touch with Prof. Yeshpal Singh:

About our School-


The School of Physics and Astronomy is a world-leading physics department, excelling in both research and teaching. Our physics research was recently ranked top in the UK for 4-star-category research, and 4th by GPA, by the Research Excellence Framework 2021. The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Professor Mike Kosterlitz and Professor David Thouless jointly for their work into the discoveries of the properties of matter, work which started when they were at Birmingham together. The 2017 Prize was awarded for the detection of gravitational waves, in which Birmingham staff played a key role. The School is an excellent environment for an upcoming academic.


The School’s research portfolio is wide-ranging, and covers three principal themes: Quantum Matter; Particle and Nuclear Physics; and Astronomy and Experimental Gravity. It has over 120 academic and research staff together with 120 graduate students with around 50 technical and clerical support staff.


The School of Physics and Astronomy is an Institute of Physics Juno Champion since 2014 and holder of the Athena SWAN Silver Award. Both initiatives recognise the School’s commitment to promote diversity and equality, and to encourage better practice for all members of the community, whilst also working towards developing an equitable working culture in which all students and staff can achieve their full potential. 

Link for application:

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