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PhD Opening for Active Matter Research in Leipzig

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

We open a PhD position within a joint experimental/theoretical project, hosted at the Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences of Leipzig University, Germany, as part of a recently granted German–Czech (DFG–GACR) research collaboration: one for the optical control and analysis of Brownian machines and active-particle swarms, and one for related theoretical work on the dynamics and thermodynamics of active matter.

Active matter includes flocks of birds, swarms of insects, ensembles of robots, and colonies of bacteria. We are seeking two highly motivated PhD candidates with a Master’s degree in Physics or Physical Chemistry with excellent English proficiency. Successful candidates will perform cutting edge research on the dynamics and non-equilibrium statistical thermodynamics of these systems, with a main focus on many-body effects and confining environments, in a close collaboration between theory and experiment. They should therefore be committed to collaborative and interdisciplinary work, and have excellent oral and written communication skills (records of creative and independent scientific research and active participation in its dissemination in peer-reviewed journals are welcome). Prior experience with stochastic dynamics (Brownian motion, stochastic thermodynamics, large deviation theory, Langevin and Fokker–Planck equations) and a strong background in analytical and/or pertinent simulation/numerical methods would be useful for the theorist. Experience with modern optical microscopy and tweezers techniques and image and time-series analysis, which will be employed to control and study active-particle swarms and microscopic thermodynamic machines, would be useful for the experimentalist.

The theoretical work will be performed in the Soft Condensed Matter Theory Group at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (Leipzig) under the guidance of Prof. Klaus Kroy and Dr. Viktor Holubec (Department of Macromolecular Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic). The successful applicant will be able to perform some of the work in Prague and to gain deep knowledge in physical modeling (both numerical and analytical methods), stochastic analysis, and non-equilibrium statistical physics. The experimental work will be performed in the Molecular Nanophotonics Group at the Peter Debye Institute for Soft Matter Physics (Leipzig) under the guidance of Prof. Frank Cichos and allow the successful applicant to acquire expert skills and knowledge on innovative micro-optical multi-particle manipulation and detection techniques as well as on machine learning algorithms applied to active particle detection and control.
The working language is English. Salaries will be according to DFG standards.

Applications including 1) a letter of interest (max. 1 page), clearly stating the specific motivation of the candidate to join the group, work on this project, career goals, etc., 2) a CV, 3) grade transcripts or equivalent record of excellent academic performance, clearly indicating courses taken and grades in each course (for MS and BS), 4) the names of at least two consenting referees should for the theoretical part of the project be sent to and and for the experimental part of the project. to . Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

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