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DTC PHYS 9 - Towards cold chemistry via charge exchange reactions with positronium.

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S J Eriksson
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Laser cooling leads to spectacular precision in experiments which underpin societally essential technologies such as atomic clocks. In principle, the same precision could be applied to controlling chemical reactions, e.g. precisely tuned kinetic energies might be used to study the role of scattering resonances in molecular reaction dynamics or chemical processes in the interstellar medium, but only a few select species of atoms and even fewer species of molecules can be laser cooled in practice either because their structure is too complicated or simply because lasers do not exist at the necessary wavelengths. In this project we will investigate a general method to create cold neutrals in an arbitrary species by first sympathetically cooling the ion with a laser coolable refrigerant in a trap and then neutralising the ion in a charge exchange reaction with positronium (the bound state of an electron and a positron) which due to its low mass does not cause heating.

Entry requirements

Candidates must have a minimum of an upper second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or an appropriate Master’s degree (with Merit). Informal enquiries are welcome by emailing the project supervisor.

For candidates whose first language is not English, we require IELTS 6.5 (with 6.0 in each component) or equivalent. Please visit our website for a list of acceptable English language tests. We prefer candidates to have already met the English Language requirements at the point of application, although this is not a requirement.

How to apply

Visit our webpage for details -

Please include the project ID and title in your email subject header (eg. DTC MATH xxxxxx)

Funding Notes

Student Finance England have announced plans to offer student loans for PhD level courses from September 2018 for courses at any PhD awarding university (including Swansea University). Full details are still to be confirmed. Visit our website for updated information. –

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