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Many-body quantum theory for condensed matter systems

   Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences (IPaQS)

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  Dr Adrian Kantian  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Interviews for short-listed candidates to commence from May 1st 2021

Funded PhD project

Heriot-Watt University, School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Institute of Photonics and Quantum Sciences

About the project:

We offer a 3.5 year PhD position for a highly motivated candidate with strong scientific curiosity and an intrinsic desire for developing novel theoretical approaches to challenging problems in the area of correlated quantum systems and superconducting systems in particular.

Strongly correlated many-body systems are at the forefront of current research in condensed matter physics and beyond. Such systems feature centrally in the ongoing attempts to develop theories for high-temperature superconducting materials, which are of major importance for both fundamental and applied reasons.

A major potential avenue that could be explored in this PhD-project concerns the development of basic theory for how to turn 1D systems of electrons into superconductors with the possibility of functioning at high operating temperatures. External electron reservoirs would be studied for their ability to stabilise the strong fluctuations that normally preclude superconductivity in 1D. Such a project would initially focus on idealised model systems, then move on to more realistic ones, such as e.g. narrow graphene nanoribbons.

The PhD-project will be carried out in the group of Adrian Kantian at the Institute for Photonics and Quantum Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh ( We are a group working on the theory of strongly correlated quantum systems, with a special focus on unconventional and high-temperature superconductivity in novel model systems, and ultimately aiming at proposals of realistic materials and devices based on these models. A major aspect of our work is the development of quantitatively reliable theory beyond any currently available, in order to accurately predict the properties of these novel high-

temperature superconducting systems. Numerical techniques such as the density matrix renormalization group (DMRG) feature heavily in our work, as well as increasingly dynamical mean-field theory (DMFT). These approaches are complemented with analytical techniques as necessary. This work further has multiple connections to other research topics pursued in the group, such as low-dimensional correlated systems (2D magnets and quasi-1D superconducting materials such as the Beechgard and Fabre salts), flatband systems and analog quantum simulations of correlated lattice models in ultracold atomic gases. Besides the PI, who is in the process of moving major parts of his research from Uppsala University to Heriot-Watt, the group currently consists of two postdoctoral researchers, with a third one being dually affiliated with another group, as well as a PhD-student. The currently advertised position is one of two that will be added to the group within the coming year. We have an extended network of established contacts and collaborations with leading theoretical and experimental groups in the UK, Europe and the US. More background on the group and its activities is available at

Applicants must have or expect to have a first class degree or equivalent in physics, with a good background in theory in general, and especially in either condensed matter theory or numerical physics.

In order to apply, please send

· a statement outlining your research interests and why you would like to pursue your PhD in this group

· a CV

· certificates of exams, degrees and grades

· a copy of your Masters thesis, or equivalent

· published articles and other relevant materials, if available

· contact information for at least two reference persons

to [Email Address Removed], and include “Application for PhD” in the subject header. Please direct any informal enquiries to this address as well.

Funding Notes

The PhD project is funded for a duration of 3.5 years. This funding includes a tax-free stipend of 15.285 GBP per year
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