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PhD Studentship on Quantum-enhanced radar systems

Project Description

One of the most exciting recent developments in physics has been the application of quantum physics to new technologies and the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies is one of the world’s leading centres for research in this area. This theory PhD project will focus on the use of quantum effects in radar systems to improve their sensitivity or allow them to operate covertly.

Radar has been a truly transformative technology and so any new advantages are keenly anticipated. Theoretical schemes have shown how quantum radar could operate in principle and ground breaking experiments have demonstrated entanglement distribution over thousands of kilometres via satellites [1]. These results are very promising but the performance limits for quantum radar are not yet known, especially in realistic operating scenarios where things like bad weather will destroy the entanglement. Until recently the mathematical framework for quantum metrology has not been able to answer this question adequately because it is only valid for large data, whereas quantum radar is likely to rely on limited data due to the low return rate of photons. New theory developed at Sussex will allow us to rigorously treat the low data regime and properly understand the fundamental limits to quantum radar [2,3]. This project will explore this and also use quantum metrological techniques to optimise the information that can be extracted in read-out schemes thereby giving advantages without needing entanglement at all [4]. This should lead to simpler and more practical quantum-enhanced devices.

The successful applicant will join a team within the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies ( During the PhD the student will receive both academic and transferable skills training at Sussex and through our membership of the South East Physics Network ( as well as project-specific skills through project supervision.


[1] Juan Yin et al, Science 356, 1140 (2017).

[2] Jesús Rubio, Paul Knott and Jacob Dunningham, J. Phys. Comm. 2 015027 (2018).

[3] Jesús Rubio and Jacob Dunningham, New J. Phys. 21, 043037 (2019)

[4] M. Kritsotakis, S.S. Szigeti, J. A. Dunningham and S.A. Haine, Phys. Rev. A 98, 023629 (2018).

Detailed eligibility criteria
To be eligible you must:

-be a UK/European Union (EU) student who has been resident in the UK/EU for at least three years.
-have or expect to have a UK undergraduate/master’s degree, or equivalent, in Physics or a related subject.

A strong background in physics including experience of quantum mechanics and optics. Some experience of numerical simulations is also desirable.

We also welcome applications from self-funded non-EU students.

How to apply:
Apply online at

Select the PhD in Physics with a September 2019 start date.

In the Finance section, you should enter the name of the studentship, which is: Quantum-enhanced radar systems

Be sure to supply all of the required documents, particularly your transcripts and the details of two referees.

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

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Sussex in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 24.72

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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