Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Atomic Physics - Engineering and Physical Sciences

United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Dec 28, 2020
Jan 27, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

School of Physics and Astronomy

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Grade 7

Full time starting salary is normally in the range of £30,942 to £40,322. With potential progression once in post to £42,792

Full time

Fixed term contract for up to 18 months

Closing date - 3rd January 2021


The development of Quantum Sensors for the detection of small magnetic fields have attracted great interest worldwide: magnetic fields are omnipresent and their precision metrology impacts several fields ranging from the study of biological processes in the brain and heart, to the characterization of materials, mineral exploration, and search for dark matter and dark energy in the Universe. In particular, the field of atomic magnetometry has experienced in the last years a constant progress in understanding the underpinning quantum science, marked by seminal achievements leading to the realization of spin-exchange free magnetometers, to entanglement assisted, and back-action evading quantum measurements. Based on these solid foundations, the project aims at developing ultra-sensitive quantum magnetometers based on vapours of neutral atoms (such as Rb or Cs) at room temperature. We will investigate novel strategies to improve the sensitivity and to increase the measurement bandwidth without loss of sensitivity, including the realization of spin-squeezing. Our measurements will target the detection of magnetic field of biological origin and test of fundamental Physics.

Summary of Role

We are looking for a prospective postdoctoral researcher who has a genuine interest in quantum mechanics and in experimental physics of atomic gases. The successful candidate will join the Cold Atoms group at the University of Birmingham and lead the lab activities towards the realization and characterization of new optically pumped atomic magnetometers. In particular, the research aims at achieving an improved sensitivity for the detection of magnetic fields of biological origin (e.g. magnetic fields generated by the neuronal activity of the brain) and for fundamental Physics measurements. The project benefits from the collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory, and will develop synergies with other experiments within the Cold Atoms group and the Centre for Human Brain Health of the University of Birmingham. The successful candidate is also expected to play an active role in these collaborations.

Main Duties

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.
  • Lead the daily lab activities related to the project, including the collection, analysis and interpretation of data
  • Actively contribute to the interaction with theory and NPL partners
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters *
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research *
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines*

* These indicative responsibilities may also be included in a research role at grade 6.

Person Specification
  • Hold, or be close to achieving a PhD in Physics.
  • An excellent track record in experimental AMO physics. In particular, in the fields of atomic magnetometry, hot atomic vapours, cold and ultracold atoms, or quantum optics.
  • Excellent experimental skills, including optics, lasers, electronics, programming etc
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a self-contained project, and to work effectively as part of a team in an academic environment.
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Vera Guarrera:

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community '

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