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PTB PhD Projekte

PTB PhD Projects

We have three excellent opportunities for PhDs in the field of quantum logic spectroscopy (85% E13 TVöD)

The ability to cool atoms using lasers to temperatures close to absolute zero led to a new era of precision spectroscopy, where the Doppler shifts from atomic motion are almost completely eliminated. This paved the way to breakthroughs in atomic clocks and precision tests of fundamental physics at very low energies. However, only a handful of species can be directly laser cooled. At the QUEST Institute, we are developing novel spectroscopy experiments based on techniques initially developed in the context of quantum information processing.

We overcome the inability to directly cool our spectroscopy species by employing the techniques of sympathetic cooling and quantum logic, opening an enormous range of otherwise inaccessible new species to the cutting-edge tools of precision optical metrology. This will allow tests of fundamental physics at unprecedented levels of precision and accuracy, such as searching for time-variation of fundamental constants and searching for a previously unknown “fifth force”, and could lead to the development of new atomic clocks with the potential to surpass the present state-of-the-art.

The advertised position will deal with quantum logic spectroscopy of one of the following systems:

  • Aluminium ions for the realisation of an optical clock with unprecedented accuracy(S. Hannig et al. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 90, 053204 (2019))
  • Molecular ions e.g. O2+ to probe for a possible variation of fundamental constants(Wolf et al., Nature 530, 457, (2016))
  • Highly charged ions e.g. Ca14+ for a new type of optical clock with high sensitivity to probe for physics beyond the standard model(Micke et al. Nature 578, 60 (2020)

For further information contact Piet O. Schmidt ( or visit our homepage (

Official job posting: Link