PhD Studentship on Dynamics of Quantum Gases (2019)

A three and a half year studentship for a UK or EU student which covers fees and living expenses

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

There is a long history of probing fundamental quantum mechanics using atomic physics. In our group, we investigate complex many-body phenomena such as quantum phase transitions and manipulation of low-dimensional quantum systems both in and out of equilibrium using ultracold atomic gases on atom chips.

The project will utilise the current rubidium Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) apparatus to test a fundamental question of the nature of quantum phase [1, 2]. The answer to that question requires very precise control of quantum atomic ensembles. While the coherent splitting of a BEC into two sub-ensembles was achieved more than a decade ago [3], this project will entail the creation and manipulation of at least three coherent sub-ensembles using the radio-frequency dressed potentials in a way that is not a straightforward extension of previous work.

The successful candidate is expected to work on an atom chip based ultracold atom system. The effort will entail the experimental design, as well as theory and numerical simulations.

The PhD student will play a central role in this investigation and will learn a wide array of tools in atomic physics, quantum physics and numerical modelling. Emphasis on various aspects of research (modelling, experimental work, sample fabrication) will be adjusted to the interests and skills of the student.

The PhD student on this project will obtain experience in the followings:

  • Neutral cold atom systems, Bose-Einstein condensates
  • Experimental techniques such as optics, laser spectroscopy and electronics
  • Atom chips and printed circuit board technology
  • Numerical methods
  • Quantum theory optionally
  • Publish and present research in high-quality international journals and conferences
  • Report orally and prepare papers reporting progress and delivery of project outcomes
  • Proactively contribute to the activities of the research group

In addition to a good Honours or Masters degree, the candidate should have a background in Atomic and Quantum Physics and have excellent IT skills including programming.

Group information

Our group uses neutral atoms as precision sensors and combines a mix of fundamental and applied research. We aim to bring quantum technology out of the laboratory so that it can be harnessed by non-specialists. At the same time, we want to discover more about how the quantum world works. In particular, we use ultra-cold atomic gases to study complex many-body phenomena.


[1]  A. J. Leggett. “Is Relative Quantum Phase Transitive”. Foundations of Physics, 25 (1995), pp. 113-122.

[2]  J. A. Dunningham and K. Burnett. “Phase Standard for Bose-Einstein Condensates”. Phys. Rev. Lett. 82 (1999), p. 3729.

[3]  T. Schumm et al. “Matter-wave interferometry in a double well on an atom chip”. Nature Physics, 1 (2005), pp. 57–62.


You will receive:

  • fully funded tuition fees for 3 and a half years (at the UK/EU rate)
  • a tax-free bursary for living costs for 3 and a half years. For 2018/19 this is £14,777 per year.
  • funds for computing, books, open access publishing, attendance at conferences and workshops.

You may also supplement your income with paid teaching (with your supervisor’s agreement).


To be eligible, you must:


30 September 2019 0:00 (GMT)

How to apply

Apply through the postgraduate application system and select the full time PhD in Physics with a September 2019 start date

Applications will be considered until the position has been filled.

When you apply, you should include:

  • the supervisor’s name (Professor Peter Kruger) in the ‘Suggested supervisor’ section
  • Dynamics of quantum gases in the ‘Award detail’ section
  • a research proposal/personal statement which describes your suitability for the project
  • 2 academic references
  • your transcripts from any previously obtained degrees. If you have not yet completed your undergraduate degree, you can provide an interim transcript or record of any marks obtained so far.

The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found so you are encouraged to apply as soon as you are able to. 

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.


Contact us

Email the group at if you have a question about the project

Email if you have a question about applying, funding or eligibility.


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
30 September 2019 0:00 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: