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PhD in Experimental Quantum Nanophysics: Levitated Optomechanics and the Quantum Physics of Rotation

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, July 26, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics was partially awarded for the development of optical tweezers, where light is used to trap and manipulate objects. A nanoparticle trapped in an optical tweezer in vacuum has remarkable properties: it is an almost perfect harmonic oscillator, it can be used for exquisite force sensing, and predictions are that it can be controlled at the quantum level.

The aim of this project is to realise the startling promises of this field, known as levitated optomechanics. You will explore the practical applications of levitated particles, work with nanofabrication to boost optical forces, and work towards the development of practical devices. This research group has a deep interest in macroscopic quantum physics, and it is hoped that levitated optomechanics will enable us to study quantum science at its absolute extreme, perhaps even finding the elusive quantum-to-classical boundary.

This position comes with the potential to travel and present your work at international conferences, the opportunity to work in a young and dynamic team, and you will be supported if you wish to develop your teaching and/or public communication skills.

The Levitated Nanophysics Group and King’s College London are proud to be an inclusive employer, supportive of all forms of diversity. For further information about the project, please email .

Candidate Requirements:

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:
• A first- or second -class second class degree in Physics or an Engineering subject.

• Excellent English written and spoken communication skills. Please see:

• Ability to acquire and analyse data.

• Ability to devise experiments to test hypothesis.

• A passion for research, motivation, and a desire to learn new skills.

The following skills are desirable, but can be learned during your study:

• Knowledge of data presentation / plotting software.

• Knowledge of quantum physics.

• Experience in working in a research environment.

• Experience in working with optics.

• Experience in working with vacuum systems.

Subject Areas

• Quantum Physics
• Experimental Physics
• Optical Physics
• Optical Tweezers
• Nanotechnology
• Nanophysics

Application Procedure:

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to
Email contact:

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria. Details are available on:

Please note that applicants from outside the UK/EU would be offered a reduced stipend. For more information contact James Millen:

Advert information:

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.


Full Rotational Control of Levitated Silicon Nanorods:
S Kuhn et al. Optica 4, 356-360 (2017)

Probing macroscopic quantum superpositions with nanorotors:
Benjamin A. Stickler et al., New Journal of Physics 20, 122001 (2018)

Related Subjects

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