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Photonic simulators of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics

   The Dodd-Walls Centre

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Photonic systems offer a highly-controllable platform for the exploration of universal wave phenomena. In this PhD project, you will experimentally and theoretically investigate the use of optical fibre resonators for simulating dynamical wave phenomena at the frontiers of quantum and mechanics and solid-state physics. In particular, you will participate in the design and realization of an optical resonator systems that can (i) simulate the time evolution of a quantum wave packet subject to an arbitrary potential and (ii) mimic the dynamics of quantum particles on periodic lattice potentials via the formation of synthetic dimensions.

The project will be hosted at the nonlinear photonics group of Associate Professors Miro Erkintalo, Stuart Murdoch, and Stephane Coen at the Department of Physics, University of Auckland, New Zealand, and pursued in close collaboration with Professors Joachim Brand (Massey University) and Uli Zuelicke (Victoria University of Wellington).

We are looking for an academically outstanding candidate who is highly-motivated to conduct world-class experimental and theoretical research at the frontiers of optical and quantum physics. The ideal candidate will have some background experience in experimental physics preferably fibre optics or photonics and have a solid understanding of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics. Familiarity with scientific computing (using e.g. Matlab or Python) is considered an advantage.

Associate Professor Miro Erkintalo is an expert in nonlinear photonics and dissipative and conservative solitons.

The wider context

The Dodd-Walls Centre for Photonic and Quantum Technologies is a national Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE)and a world-class organisation which builds on Aotearoa-New Zealand’s (NZ) internationally acknowledged strength in the fields of quantum optics, photonics, ultracold atomic gases, and precision atomic physics. Photonics, the manipulation of the quantum building blocks of light, and the precision control of matter at the atomic scale through the use of light, underpin technological development in areas such as computing, advanced sensing technologies and medical imaging, and communication.

The Dodd-Walls Centre, hosted by the University of Otago, involves six universities in NZ. Your PhD project while based at one institution will allow you to collaborate with researchers from across the Centre. More information about our Research Centre can be found here:

The Dodd-Walls Centre mission

  • To solidify our position as a Research Centre that is recognised as one of the world’s leading organisations in the field of photonic and quantum technologies,
  • To train and develop skilled staff and students to the highest international standards,
  • To capitalise upon the international investment in quantum and optical sciences for the benefit of New Zealand,
  • To support the rapidly growing high-tech industry sector, thus ensuring New Zealand’s economic diversification and providing career pathways for the outstanding people that we train,
  • To provide support for New Zealand’s climate action through improved environmental measurement and monitoring, and,
  • To ensure that the benefits of advances in science and technology, especially in photonics and quantum technologies, are available to all.

Eligibility requirements

Applicants must meet Auckland University entry requirements for admission to a PhD. Award of the scholarship is conditional on the university accepting your enrolment. The successful applicant will be guided through the process of formally applying for admission.

This is an interdisciplinary project so applicants from a wide range of academic backgrounds will be considered. Applications should have strong undergraduate knowledge in some of these areas:

  • Some background experience in experimental physics; preferably fibre optics or photonics
  • and have a solid understanding of quantum mechanics and solid-state physics
  • familiarity with scientific computing (using e.g. Matlab or Python) is considered an advantage.

This project is based in Auckland, New Zealand and is available for immediate start.

How to apply

To express your interest in this scholarship and PhD research opportunity, please prepare the following items:

  • A brief CV including qualifications, academic achievements, list of publications, work history, and references.
  • A copy of your academic transcript(s).

Please submit your application via email to the main supervisor of this project Miro Erkintalo () who will guide you through the scholarship application process.

Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The successful applicant will receive a PhD scholarship of NZ$28,500 stipend per annum plus fees. The stipend is for three years. The scholarship is tax-free.
We also provide funding to support research, including for travel to visit collaborators and attend conferences.

Register your interest for this project

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